18 deaths confirmed by Sulawesi landslides

A search and rescue team found 18 people killed by landslides on Sulawesi island and are still looking for two missing, officials said Monday.Rescuers found about 14 bodies in Makale village on Sunday afternoon and four in South Makale, said Mexianus Bekabel, the chief of Makassar Search and Rescue.”

We are still looking for two more victims, but fog and drizzle made the search difficult and officers in the field were overwhelmed,” Sulaiman Malia, chief of the Tana Toraja district , said on Monday.Loosened by torrential rain, mud poured from surrounding hills onto four houses just before midnight Saturday in the Tana Toraja district of South Sulawesi province, said local police chief Gunardi Mundu. He said a family gathering was being held in one of the houses when the landslide hit.
Dozens of soldiers, police and volunteers joined the search in the remote hillside villages of Makale and South Makale, Mundu said. Rescuers early Sunday managed to pull out two injured people, including an 8-year-old girl, and rushed them to .Downed communications lines, bad weather and unstable soil were hampering the rescue efforts, Muhari said. Tana Toraja has many popular tourist attractions, including traditional houses and wooden statues of bodies buried in caves, known as tau-tau.
Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or fertile flood plains.