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6 May 2021

CNA (Singapore)

Indonesia: Death toll in China-backed Batang Toru hydropower plant landslide rises to 10, week-long search called off

"Death toll in Indonesian power plant landslide rises to 10, week-long search called off", 6 May 2021

The death toll from a landslide at a hydroelectric dam project on Indonesia's Sumatra island has risen to 10, an official said Thursday (May 6), as authorities called off a week-long search for victims.

A landslide triggered by heavy rains struck the Chinese-backed Batang Toru hydropower plant on Thursday last week, burying an estimated 13 people.

Employees were checking on the area over concerns that heavy rains could trigger landslides when the disaster struck.

At least two children are among the victims. The body of a Chinese employee of the plant was identified on Wednesday.

Another Chinese employee narrowly escaped as he fled the scene. [...]

The Batang Toru hydropower project - part of China's trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure project - has raised opposition as it is built in an area of rainforest that is the only known habitat of the endangered Tapanuli orangutan. [...]