Indonesia flood death toll rises to 41 with 17 missing

Indonesia flood death toll rises to 41 with 17 missing

/ 11:14 AM May 13, 2024

Indonesia flood death toll rises to 41 with 17 missing

Damaged houses are seen after flash floods and cold lava flow from a volcano in Tanah Datar, West Sumatra, on May 12, 2024. At least 34 people have died and 16 more were missing after flash floods and cold lava flow from a volcano hit western Indonesia, a local disaster official said on May 12. Agence France-Presse

JAKARTA — 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 Monday.

“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, adding rescuers were searching for 17 still missing.

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Hours of heavy rain caused flooding in two districts on Sumatra island Saturday evening, threatening thousands of people after the downpours swept ash and large rocks down Mount Marapi, the most active volcano on Sumatra island.

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READ: 12 dead after Indonesia flash floods, cold lava flow

Three were missing in Agam district and 14 in Tanah Datar, both the worst-hit areas of the flood and home to hundreds of thousands of people, Ilham said.

He could not confirm the number of locals evacuated because officials had encouraged “people to evacuate to relatives’ places, which are safer”.

READ: 34 dead in Indonesia floods, 16 missing

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

Roads in the districts were turned into muddy rivers, with mosques and houses damaged after rains inundated locals and swept vehicles into a nearby river.

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Indonesia is prone to landslides and floods during the rainy season.

In 2022, about 24,000 people were evacuated and two children were killed in floods on Sumatra island, with environmental campaigners blaming deforestation caused by logging for worsening the disaster.

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TAGS: Floods, Indonesia

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