Indonesia and East Timor flood toll exceed 150 | Weather news

Search and rescue teams in Indonesia are rushing to find more than 70 people still missing.

Rescuers are looking for dozens of people still missing after floods and landslides swept through villages in Indonesia and East Timor, killing more than 150 people and leaving thousands more homeless.

Rescue efforts continued on Tuesday as torrential rains from Tropical Cyclone Seroja turned small communities into wasteland of mud, uprooted trees and sent around 10,000 people fleeing to shelters in neighboring South Asian countries. -Is.

Indonesia’s disaster management agency said it had recorded 130 deaths in a cluster of remote islands near East Timor, where 27 others were officially listed as dead.

Search and rescue teams in Indonesia were rushing to find more than 70 people still missing and using backhoes to clear mountains of debris.

The storm swept through buildings in some mountainside villages and down to the ocean shore on Lembata Island.

Local authorities said they were working to shelter the evacuees while trying to prevent any further spread of COVID-19.

“These evacuees fled here with just wet clothes on their backs and nothing else,” said deputy mayor of the region, Thomas Ola Longaday.

“They need blankets, pillows, mattresses and tents.”

People stand near flood damaged roads after heavy rains in Dili, East Timor, April 5, 2021 [Lirio da Fonseca/ Reuters]

The region was preparing for its meager health facilities to be overwhelmed as the number of injured skyrocketed.

“We don’t have enough anesthesiologists and surgeons, but we have been promised that help will come,” Longaday said. “Many survivors have broken bones from being hit by rocks, logs and debris.”

‘Extreme weather conditions’

Nearby, in the municipality of East Flores, torrents of mud swept through houses, bridges and roads.

Earlier footage from the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency showed workers digging up mud-covered corpses before placing them in body bags.

Hospitals, bridges and thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed by the storm, which is now heading to the west coast of Australia.

“We could still see extreme weather conditions (from the cyclone) for the next few days,” National Disaster Agency spokeswoman Raditya Jati said.

Authorities were still working to evacuate remote communities and provide shelter for those affected by the storm, he added.

Fatal landslides and flash floods are common in the Indonesian archipelago during the rainy season.

In January, flash floods hit the Indonesian town of Sumedang in West Java, killing 40 people.

And last September, at least 11 people were killed in landslides in Borneo.

The disaster agency estimated that 125 million Indonesians – nearly half of the country’s population – live in areas at risk of landslides.

Disasters are often caused by deforestation, according to environmentalists.

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