18 December 2014

Amazing but watch with caution: camera phone footage of the deadly Banjarnegara district landslide in Indonesia

Posted by Dave Petley

Camera phone footage of the deadly Banjarnegara district landslide in Indonesia

Hidden in the depths of Youtube is a quite amazing video, uploaded on 13th December, of the Banjarnegara district landslide in Central Java, Indonesia The current known loss of life from this event is 83 people, 25 people remain missing.  I cannot guarantee the authenticity of this video, although I’ve certainly not seen it before.  I must caution you to watch with care – whilst there are no directly horrific scenes, the sense of utter chaos and panic is disturbing – really disturbing. This is far from easy viewing. The video can be found here, and as usual I have embedded it below:



A key question of course is whether this is genuine – well first it is clearly a landslide disaster.  This is the best screenshot that I have found from the video:

Banjarnegara district


This is from 38 seconds into the video, when a wave of material (very clearly a flow) can be seen.  A comparison with this image (via Voice of America), from a different angle (and note this is very foreshortened), suggests to me that it probably is the same landslide, but this needs confirmation:



The video stops half way through – the text thereafter says “thank you for watching; thanks for his visit”, or something similar.

The video does capture the utter chaos of the situation during a catastrophic landslide, and should be a spur to all of us involved in landslide work.  The losses from this landslide include 20 school children, 11 more children aged less than 10 years old and two elementary school teachers.