Death toll from floods in Indonesia’s West Sumatra rises to 50

Death toll from floods in Indonesia's West Sumatra rises to 50

JAKARTA: The number of people killed by flash floods and mud slides in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province has risen to 52 and more than 3, 000 people were evacuated, authorities said on Tuesday ( May 14 ).

Heavy rains on Saturday night triggered display floods, landslides, and warm lava stream, a mud- like mixture of volcanic ash, metal debris and water, in three districts in West Sumatra province. On Monday, the death toll was 43.

The warm lava movement, known in Indonesia as a lahar, came from Mount Marapi, one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes. When Marapi erupted in December, more than 20 people died. Since then, there have been numerous volcanoes.

Of the 52 useless, more than 45 have been identified, West Sumatra disaster agency spokeswoman Ilham Wahab said. Local firefighters, police and military will remain searching for 17 people who are also missing, he added.

Ilham said 249 homes, 225 hectares of land, including wheat areas, and most of major roads in the three regions were damaged. Since Sunday, the storms have subsided.

” Besides searching for the missing people, we will focus to clear the major roads from the dirt, logs, large stones brought by the storms onto roads and communities”, Ilham said.

As of Tuesday, 3, 396 people have been evacuated to nearby buildings, the head of national disaster and management agency BNPB, Suharyanto, said in a statement.

BNPB has distributed tents, blankets, food, hygiene kits, portable toilets, and water purifiers, said Suharyanto, who uses a single name like many Indonesians.

However, the distribution has been impeded as most roads were covered by mud and debris, he said.