Photos: Deadly landslides in West Java, Indonesia

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  1. Villagers carry food as the search continues for people buried under a landslide on Thursday, Feb. 25, in Dewata, West Java, Indonesia. Approximately 35 people are still missing after heavy rain triggered a landslide that wiped out houses, factories and offices at a tea plantation. (Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Soldiers and police carry a body recovered from beneath the mud as the search continues for people missing following a massive landslide. Many of the victims were plantation laborers who lived in nearby. (Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Villagers stand outside their temporary houses as the search continues for people buried under the landslide in West Java, Indonesia. Some 600 villagers from the region have been evacuated to temporary shelters in safer locations. (Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Policemen and a dog search for burried victims of the landslide in West Java. Scores of soldiers and police officers plus two excavators bolstered the search efforts. (Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A search and rescue helicopter lands on a field near the site of a massive landslide that hit Dewata village in Pasir Jambu, West Java. The winding mountain roads made boggy by the days of heavy rain hampered efforts to get equipment and rescuers to the site. (Bay Ismoyo / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A villager looks at just some of the scores of houses buried by a landslide at the mud-covered village of Ciwidey in Bandung province on Tuesday, Feb. 23 (Bay Ismoyo / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Villagers mourn the loss of relatives as the search continues for people buried under a landslide in Dewata, West Java, Indonesia. Dozens of people are still missing after heavy rain caused the landslide to destroy houses, factories and offices at a tea plantation. (Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A view of an area where a landslide has covered about 50 houses in the Ciwidey area after heavy rains in flood-ravaged Bandung district. (Crack Palinggi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Rescuers, including soldiers, carry a dead victim of the landslide in an orange body bag. The dead were being taken up a nearby hill to be identified. (Bay Ismoyo / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Rescuers search for victims. At least 46 people are dead or missing after a landslide buried part of a tea plantation in Indonesia. (Pikiran Rakyat Daily / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Heavy equipment was brought in Wednesday to help rescuers search for victims and survivors. Scores of houses, the plantation office and warehouse were rolled and crushed as they slid down the hillside with a swath of top soil and mud hundreds of yards wide. (Irwin Fedriansyah / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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    Rescue workers find a body buried beneath the mud. Many of the victims were plantation laborers who lived in huts on the plantation. (Crack Palinggi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Villagers comfort each other at the site of a landslide. Around 600 terrified survivors have fled their hillside homes for tents on safer ground, fearing more of the mountainside will collapse under the continuing soaking rain. (Irwin Fedriansyah / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Indonesian police begin the grim process of identifying the dead. (Bay Ismoyo / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A policeman stands amid some of the builldings torn apart by the power of the landslide. (Fahrul Rozi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 2/24/2010 11:21:26 AM ET 2010-02-24T16:21:26

Rescuers brought in heavy digging equipment Wednesday to clear a muddy landslide that killed at least 17 people and left 29 others buried on Indonesia's main island of Java, an official said.

Days of heavy rain prompted the landslide Tuesday afternoon at a mountainous tea plantation near the village of Tenjoljaya in Ciwidey district of West Java province, destroying scores of homes.

Scores of soldiers and police officers plus two excavators bolstered search efforts Wednesday and 17 bodies had been recovered from a vast pile of clay by the afternoon, National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono said.

The search was postponed Wednesday afternoon due to heavy rain, which made some fear there would be more landslides.

At least 29 others are believed to have been buried by the mud. Kardono said: "It seems there is no possibility of anyone among those 46 surviving."

Officials had earlier said 72 had probably died but later revised the figure down, although the true toll could still be higher.

Another 15 people had been injured, Kardono said, two of whom had been admitted to hospital.

The winding mountain roads made boggy by the days of heavy rain were hampering efforts to get equipment and rescuers to the site, which is about 90 miles southeast of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, Kardono said.

He added that more landslides were possible.

Hundreds evacuated
Some 600 villagers from the region have been evacuated to temporary shelters in safer locations, Kardono said. Most of these were from unaffected nearby villages that were in landslide-prone areas.

Many of the victims were plantation laborers who lived in huts on the plantation. Most of the recovered bodies of men, women and a child were dug up from the residential area.

Villagers unearthed the first victims late Tuesday using farm tools and bare hands.

Vice President Boediono, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name, visited the site Wednesday, accompanied by several government ministers.

Landslides are a common hazard in Indonesia during the current latter weeks of the monsoon season.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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