Locals walk in an area affected by heavy rain brought flash floods and landslides as they are evacuated in Agam, West Sumatra province, Indonesia, May 12, 2024, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Iggo El Fitra/via REUTERS

Flash floods and mud slides in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province killed at least 37 people this weekend while the search for 17 missing people is still ongoing, authorities said on Monday.

Torrential rain on Saturday evening caused flash floods, landslides, and cold lava flow, which is a mixture of volcanic ash, rock debris and water that flows like mud, in three districts in West Sumatra province, Abdul Malik, the chief of the provincial rescue team told Reuters.

The cold lava flow, known in Indonesia as a lahar, came from Mount Marapi, one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes.

In December, more than 20 people were killed after Marapi erupted. A series of eruptions followed afterwards.

“The heavy rain swept materials such as ash and large rocks from the Marapi volcano,” said Abdul Malik.

“Cold lava flow and flash floods have always been threats to us recently. But the problem is, it always happens late at night until dawn,” he added.


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