Lava flood kills 4 near Indonesian volcano

AP News
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Posted: Dec 28, 2011 12:58 AM
Lava flood kills 4 near Indonesian volcano

Officials say fast-moving mudflows streaming from the mouth of a volcano in eastern Indonesia have killed four villagers. About 1,000 others have fled their homes.

Mount Gamalama, located in the Molucca Islands, sprang back to life this month with a powerful, non-fatal eruption.

Government spokesman Yusuf Sunnya said Wednesday that days of heavy rains triggered flows of cold lava, rocks and other debris that slammed into villages near the base Tuesday night.

He said four people were killed and more than a dozen others were hospitalized with injuries ranging from broken bones to head wounds.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago with millions of people living on mountains or near fertile flood plains. Seasonal downpours here often cause landslides.