Indonesia, East Timor flood death toll tops 150
Published: 10:37 AM, 6 April 2021
Indonesia recorded 130 deaths in a cluster of remote islands near East Timor, where another 27 have been officially listed as dead. Photo: Collected
At least 157 people have died in Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor with dozens more still missing after flash floods and landslides hit the Southeast Asian nations, leaving thousands homeless.
Indonesia’s disaster management agency on Tuesday said it had recorded 130 deaths in a cluster of remote islands near East Timor, where another 27 have been officially listed as dead.
Torrential rain sparked widespread destruction in the South East Asian neighbours on Sunday, with water from overflowing dams submerging thousands of homes.
The affected area stretches from Flores island in eastern Indonesia to East Timor.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday offered his condolences and urged people to follow the advice from officials during extreme weather periods.
"I have ordered for disaster relief efforts to be conducted quickly and well, for example for health service assistance, availability of logistics and basic needs for the displaced and the reparation of infrastructure," he said.
Landslides and flash floods are not uncommon across the Indonesian archipelago during the rainy season.
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 Sulawesi.
The country's disaster agency has estimated that nearly half of the country's population - some 125 million people - live in parts of the country at risk of landslides. - AFP, BBC