More than 70 dead in Indonesia, East Timor floods

Elias Hubbard
April 5, 2021

Landslides and flash floods from torrential rains in eastern Indonesia have killed at least 23 people and displaced thousands, the nation's disaster agency said today.

She warned that the cyclone could trigger tidal waves up to 13 feet on Sumba, Flores and Rote islands in East Nusa Tenggara province, and up to 19.6 feet in the southern part of the province and in the Banda Sea and Indian Ocean.

On Sunday, a Reuters witness reported three deaths in neighbouring East Timor from a landslide on the outskirts of its capital, Dili.

Hundreds of people were involved in rescue efforts, but distribution of aid and relief was hampered by power cuts, blocked roads and the remoteness of the area that's surrounded by choppy waters and high waves, said the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson, Raditya Jati.

Flooding in Timor Leste is a once-in-fifty years event, says New Zealand-based Jose L. Sousa-Santos, who anxious for his family in Dili after the weekend deluge in his home country.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has offered his condolences and urged people to follow the advice from officials during extreme weather periods.

"I understand the deep sorrow suffered by our brothers and sisters because of this disaster", he said in a nationwide address.

"The evacuees are spread out".

"We're sending basic logistical needs such as food, blankets and others", Raditya Jati, the agency spokesman said.

Some 2,500 people had been evacuated in East Timor.

"We suspect many people are buried but it's not clear how many are missing", Mr Bethan said.

Images from the island showed barefoot locals wading through mud and past collapsed houses to evacuate victims on makeshift stretchers.

The casualties were due to landslides, flash floods and a falling tree.

In January this year, 40 people died when flash floods hit the town of Sumedang on Java.

And last September, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo while a few months earlier dozens died in a similar disaster in Sulawesi.

The country's disaster agency has estimated that almost half of the country's population - some 125 million people - live in parts of the country at risk of landslides.

The country's disaster agency has estimated that 125 million Indonesians - almost half of the country's population - live in areas at risk of landslides.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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