Floods in Indonesia killed eight people on the island of Java

Indonesian rescuers on Friday struggled to find survivors under hillsides inundated with mud after flash floods on the island of Java killed at least eight people, the emergency management agency said.

Heavy rains Thursday caused flash floods in Malang and the highland town of Batu, flooding homes with mud and debris, and a wall of water destroyed local bridges.

Six people were pulled from the rubble alive, while rescuers found half a dozen bodies in Batu and two more victims in Malang.

On Friday, according to Indonesia’s national disaster mitigation agency, rescuers were trying to find several more people in Batu while the dead were being placed in body bags.

“We are still trying to find three people who are still missing,” agency chairman Abdul Muhari said in a statement.

Deadly landslides and flash floods are common in the Southeast Asian archipelago during the rainy season that began in September.

According to environmentalists, these disasters are often caused by deforestation and poor mitigation planning.

Last month, seven people died in a landslide caused by heavy rains in Sumatra.

In April, more than 200 people died in a cluster of Far East islands in Indonesia and neighboring Timor-Leste when tropical cyclone Serozha turned small communities into wastelands of mud and uprooted trees.

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