Tragedy Strikes West Sumatra: Flash Floods and Landslides Leave Dozens Dead

West Sumatra in Indonesia has been struck by severe flash floods and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and missing persons. The disaster, which occurred after monsoon rains and a significant mudslide triggered by a cold lava flow from Mount Marapi, has led to the deaths of at least 43 individuals, with 15 still unaccounted for.

The catastrophe unfolded as the cold lava flow, locally known as lahar, exacerbated the situation, causing floods that swept through mountainside villages across four districts. Mount Marapi, one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes, had erupted in December, claiming more than 20 lives, with subsequent eruptions occurring since then.

Rescue operations are underway, with efforts being hampered by bad weather, damaged roads, and access blocked by thick mud and debris. The National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari and West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency head Ilham Wahab have reported that the floods swept away people and submerged nearly 200 houses and buildings, some severely damaged.

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