INDONESIA: 12 dead after flash floods, cold lava llow

At least 12 people, including several children, were killed and four others were missing after flash floods and cold lava flow from a volcano hit western Indonesia, rescue officials said Sunday.

The disaster hit Agam and Tanah Datar districts in West Sumatra province at around 10:30 pm (1530 GMT) on Saturday after hours of heavy rain, triggering a flash flood and a cold lava flow from Mount Marapi, according to Basarnas search and rescue agency.

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

“Twelve people died and they had been taken to the hospital… and four other people are still being searched in Agam district,” head of the local rescue agency Abdul Malik said in a statement Sunday.

Nine bodies have been identified, including those of a three-year-old and eight-year-old, he said.

“Today, we will continue the search in the two districts.”

Authorities dispatched a team of rescuers and rubber boats to look for the missing victims and to transport people to shelters.

The local government set up evacuation centres and emergency posts in several spots in the two districts.

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

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