Indonesia expands searching area for 10 missing in Sumatra landslide

Rescuers have expanded their search area to find 10 people still missing after flash floods and landslides hit a village in Indonesia's North Sumatra province last week, a local official said Wednesday.

Budiono, chief of the Medan search and rescue agency, told local media on Wednesday that over 500 rescuers from various institutions were involved in the search both on land and in water.

"We are also expanding the search in land and using 14 heavy equipment to search for the 10 victims who are still declared missing," he said, adding that those rescuers were also using devices to identify human bodies underwater, excavators and stone breakers.

Floods containing muds, big stones and wood coming from higher grounds hit houses and buildings in Simangulampe village of Humbang Hasundutan Regency in the province on Friday night, leaving two people dead and 10 others missing, the local government said earlier.

Humbang Hasundutan regent Dosmar Banjarnahor later said that the deadly disasters were not solely triggered by torrential rains, but also severe illegal logging activities in protected forest near the village.

At least 50 families were taking shelter in safe areas after the disasters, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency BNPB.

Disasters like floods and landslides often occur in the archipelagic country during the rainy season.