Indonesian Rescuers Search Through Rivers, Rubble After Flash Floods That Killed at Least 50

Mount Ibu spews volcanic materials into the air during an eruption in West Halmahera, Indonesia, on May 13, 2024. (PVMBG-ESDM via AP)

TANAH DATAR, Indonesia (AP) — Rescuers on 14 May searched in rivers and the rubble of devastated villages for bodies, and whenever possible, survivors of flash floods that hit Indonesia’s Sumatra Island over the weekend.

Monsoon rains and a landslide of mud and cold lava from Mount Marapi caused rivers to breach their banks. The deluge tore through mountainside villages in four districts in West Sumatra province just before midnight on 11 May.

The floods swept away people and 79 homes and submerged hundreds of houses and buildings, forcing more than 3,300 residents to flee to temporary government shelters, National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said.

Muhari said 50 bodies had been pulled from mud and rivers by Tuesday, mostly in worst-hit Agam and Tanah Datar districts, while rescuers are searching for 27 people who are reportedly missing.