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More than 70 killed in flash floods and landslides in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

More than 70 killed in flash floods and landslides in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

At least 71 people have died after flash floods and landslides flounced over Flores Island in Eastern Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor on Sunday, rescue agencies said. Authorities warned that there could be an upsurge in death toll and told that the floods did displace thousands. Most provinces has reported more than 11 people as missing.

"There are 55 dead, but this number is very dynamic and will definitely change, while some 42 people are still missing," RadityaJati, a spokesperson for Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) told broadcaster MetroTV. "Dozens of houses were buried in mud in Lamanele village, several residents' houses were washed away by the flood,"Jati added referring to the eastern part of the island. Hours before the residents of Flores celebrated Easter, heavy rains caused sudden flooding on the island.

Authorities are still in the process of documenting the total number of casualties and cautioned that bad weather conditions are expected to continue untill next week. At least six villages have been affected by flash floods and a landslide that cut five bridges on the island while hundreds of people are still involved in the rescue efforts as of late Sunday, Jati said.

Seasonal rains and high tides have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across the country.

Dams flooded in four areas and killed two people in Pima city in nearby West Nusa Tingara province, according to the Disaster Control Agency. It swept through some 10,000 homes in Pima after rains sustained for about nine hours.

The BNPB estimates the number of people living in areas at risk of landslides at 125 million, about half of the total population, as the most populated regions are mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains close to rivers in a chain of 17,000 islands.

According to a report by the Bureau of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG), most areas in Indonesia will experience extreme weather conditions in the period 3 - 9 April 2021. Heavy rains accompanied by lightning and strong winds will hit the province of East Nusa Tenggara for the next few days, BMKG cautioned.

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TAGS:#landslideindonesia floodtimor-leste
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