Farmers working on a hillside harvesting ginger were dragged downhill and buried in the sudden onslaught. According to Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the Banaran village in the Ponorogo district of East Java was affected, causing some 27 people and more 30 homes to be buried, according to the South China Morning Post.
A local military official, however, has warned that almost 40 are now considered missing.
Nugroho stated that emergency teams have been joined by rescuers from the army, police and local volunteers, combing the area for survivors. Bystanders and thrill seekers from surrounding regions have hampered rescue efforts, he added.
Earlier, the Disaster Mitigation Agency had evacuated people from at-risk areas after concerns that mudslides would occur following the heavy rains. Many who have been affected by the tragedy had recently returned to their homes.