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Indonesia Floods Leave 41 Dead, 17 Individuals Still Missing

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The aftermath of a devastating weekend in western Indonesia has seen the death toll climb to 41, with 17 individuals still missing, according to a spokesperson from the local disaster office. 

 

The disaster struck on Saturday night when heavy rainfall triggered the collapse of volcanic rocks from Mount Merapi, inundating homes, highways, and mosques in districts like Agam and Tanah Datar.

 

Mr. Ilham Wahab, an official from the West Sumatra disaster mitigation agency, provided updates, stating, “As of last night, we recorded 37 dead victims… But from this morning, it has grown again, with the figure reaching 41 (dead).” Rescuers are urgently searching for the missing individuals, particularly in the hardest-hit areas.

 

The catastrophic event prompted authorities to urge residents to relocate to safer locations, given the ongoing heavy rain. Mosques and homes suffered significant damage, while roads were transformed into rushing rivers. In response, rubber boats and rescue teams were deployed to search for survivors and assist in evacuations.

 

Emergency posts and evacuation centers have been set up in affected areas, with reports indicating extensive destruction in Tanah Datar, including 84 houses, 16 bridges, two mosques, and substantial agricultural land. Survivor accounts depict scenes of horror and desperation as they navigated through the chaos, with one resident, Rina Devina, recounting the terrifying sound of rocks falling and the darkness that engulfed her during evacuation.

 

Indonesia’s vulnerability to natural disasters, including landslides and floods, during the rainy season is well-documented. The recent tragedy echoes similar incidents in 2022, where thousands were evacuated, and lives were lost due to floods exacerbated by deforestation caused by logging activities.”

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