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Landslides brought on by torrential rain buried houses near a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia on Sunday

Nine killed in Indonesia landslide

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    Monday, December 2, 2013, 11:56 AM -

    Landslides brought on by torrential rain buried houses near a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia on Sunday. 

    The bodies of nine people were recovered in water and mud, a disaster official said to The Associated Press on Sunday. Four of the dead were children. 

    Several houses were buried by mud, as it gushed down hills late Saturday into Gundaling village, about 12 km east of Mount Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra province. 

    Officials said the bodies of a mother and her two sons were recovered from a mound of mud late Saturday night. Six other victims were found early Sunday morning, including a 10-year-old boy drifting in a river. 

    The agency says authorities struggled to get tractors and bulldozers over washed-out roads hours after the landslides. 

    Hundreds of police, soldiers and residents dug through debris with their hands, shovels and hoes near a temporary shelter that houses hundreds of villagers who evacuated from the perimeter of the volcano. 

    Mount Sinabung has sporadically erupted since September, and its alert status was raised to the highest level last week. Recent eruptions have been smaller, but villagers are waiting until it's safer to return home. 

    Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a vast chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or fertile flood plains. 

    With files from The Associated Press

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