23 confirmed dead, 35 missing as Indonesia intensifies search efforts for landslide victims

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Indonesia on Tuesday nearly doubled the number of rescuers and deployed heavy machinery and a helicopter to search for victims of landslides and flash floods in Bone Bolango regency of Gorontalo province, according to a senior rescuer, Xinhua reports. 

Bagus Asrama, head of the operational unit of the provincial search and rescue office, reported that 23 bodies had been found, with 35 others still missing.

"We have discovered 23 bodies and are still searching for 35 others," Asrama told Xinhua.

The number of rescuers involved in the operation increased to 473 on Tuesday, up from 283 the previous day. The joint rescue team includes personnel from local search and rescue offices, soldiers, police officers, local disaster agencies, and other institutions.

"Tomorrow, we will continue to comb the disaster-affected areas, especially those around the camps," he said.

Achril Babyonggo, head of the operational unit of the disaster management and mitigation agency in the regency, told Xinhua on Tuesday that the number of survivors had risen to 71 people. He added that over 5,000 miners worked in the traditional gold mining operations in the area.

The landslides and flash floods, triggered by heavy downpours, struck the mining areas in Bone Bolango regency at midnight on Saturday. The disaster hit camps housing miners and vendors, sweeping them away.

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