Indonesia flood death toll rises to 41 with 17 missing: Disaster agency

TANAH DATAR, Indonesia: The number of people killed by flash floods and cold lava flow from a volcano in western Indonesia over the weekend has risen to 41 with 17 more missing, a local disaster agency official told AFP on Monday (May 13).

Hours of heavy rain caused large volcanic rocks to roll down one of Indonesia’s most active volcanos into two districts on Sumatra island on Saturday evening, while flooding inundated roads, homes and mosques.

“Data as of last night, we recorded 37 dead victims … But from this morning it has grown again, the figure reached 41 (dead),” Ilham Wahab, West Sumatra disaster mitigation agency official, told AFP.

Rescuers were searching for 17 still missing, three in Agam district and 14 in Tanah Datar, both the worst-hit areas of the flood and home to hundreds of thousands of people, he said.

Ilham could not confirm the number of locals evacuated because officials had encouraged “people to evacuate to relatives’ places, which are safer” than tent shelters in heavy rains.

“We are focused on first, searching and rescuing the victims, second, protecting the evacuees, protecting the vulnerable people,” he said.

Roads in the districts were turned into rivers, with mosques and houses damaged.

Heavy rains inundated neighbourhoods with muddy flood waters and swept vehicles into a nearby river, while volcanic ash and large rocks rumbled down Mount Marapi.

Cold lava, also known as lahar, is volcanic material such as ash, sand and pebbles carried down a volcano’s slopes by rain.

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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