Floods, landslides kill dozens in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
JAKARTA: Flash floods caused by torrential rain early on Sunday (Apr 4) have killed 23 people on Indonesia’s island of Flores. Nine more are injured and five are missing, while the tiny neighbouring nation of Timor-Leste has reported eight deaths so far.
At least 49 families were affected on the island in the east of Indonesia’s sprawling archipelago, Raditya Jati, a spokesman for disaster management agency BNPB, said in a statement.
“Dozens of houses were buried in mud in Lamanele village … residents’ houses washed away by the flood,” Raditya said, referring to the eastern part of Flores.
On Adonara island to the east of Flores, a bridge collapsed and rescuers were battling heavy rain, strong wind and waves, he added.
In neighbouring Timor-Leste, eight people were killed in a landslide on the outskirts of the capital, Dili, state news agency Tatoli said.
“We are currently focusing on elderly victims, children and pregnant women to be taken to a safe place,” it quoted Joaquim Gusmao, the state secretary for civil protection, as saying.
A two-year-old child was among the victims, a Reuters witness said. Civil protection officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Power supplies were cut and the presidential palace was flooded as heavy rain and strong winds have lashed Dili since late on Saturday.
Civil protection officials in Timor-Leste could not immediately be reached for comment. Social media posts showed collapsed buildings and vehicles submerged by flash floods.
More bitter weather threatens.
Indonesia’s weather agency said a tropical cyclone was approaching the Savu Straits between the southern part of Nusa Tenggara province and Timor-Leste’s north coast, warning that it could bring yet more rain, waves and winds.