by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) May 9, 2012
Floods carrying volcanic debris swept through a town in eastern Indonesia Wednesday killing four people, including a nine-year-old child, and leaving 10 others missing, a government official said.
A further 15 people were injured after floodwaters rampaged through 11 villages in Ternate City in North Maluku province, national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
"Following heavy rains during the night, volcanic floods hit early morning at 2:00 am (1700 GMT)," Nugroho said, adding that more than 280 people were evacuated to government offices and schools.
"Four people have died, 10 are missing and 15 have been injured. Fifty-eight families, or 284 people, have been evacuated," he said.
Two bridges and 15 homes were completely destroyed by the floods, while 173 other homes were damaged, Nugroho said.
The floods carried volcanic mud from Mount Gamalama, which forms the entire island of Ternate in the Maluku chain, which erupted and spewed a column of ash 2,000 metres (6,500 feet) into the air in December.
Two rivers on the eastern side of the volcano overflowed after Wednesday's heavy rains carried volcanic debris down to the affected residential areas, Nugroho said.
The Indonesian archipelago has dozens of active volcanoes. The country's most active volcano, Mount Merapi in central Java, killed more than 350 people in a series of violent eruptions in 2010.
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