Sunday, July 21, 2024 | 13:49 WIB

Massive Landslide Strikes Illegal Gold Mine in Gorontalo, Resulting in Multiple Deaths

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Jakarta, IO – A massive landslide struck an illegal gold mine in Bone Bolango regency, Gorontalo, Sunday (7/7). The incident resulted in 19 deaths, while 50 were reported missing.

Heriyanto, head of the Gorontalo Search and Rescue Agency (Basarda), said that even though the search for the missing persons have yet to be called off, 44 people were confirmed to have survived.

Two survivors, Rusli and Lukman Mamonto, said the incident occured at 4am WIB. They claimed to have been woken up by the strong tremor, per Kompas, Tuesday (9/7).

Initially, they thought it was an earthquake and decided to wake the other workers. Rusli stated that as it was dark, he had no idea where to run to survive, and so he decided to lead the men outside the mining camp. On his part, Lukman reported that all the soil and rocks in the mine slid down at an alarming speed. It all happened so fast, and the eeriness doubled as they heard the voices of people being buried alive under the outpouring screaming for help.

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According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), despite the involvement of 200 personnel from various agencies in the search, recent heavy rains obstructed the search and rescue of the victims. The unstable muddy soil was worsened by the destroyed bridge in the area. 

The high intensity rain is also suspected to have triggered the landslide that buried the 150 meter-long mining site. Heriyanto reported that the Search and Rescue Agency has focused the evacuation efforts in two sites where most of the victims were found. (un)

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