Authorities say more than 70 people have died after the flash floods and landslides that swept eastern Indonesia and neighboring East Timor on Sunday, and warned that the number of casualties may increase further.
It stretches from the Indonesian island of Flores to the island of East Timor, a small country east of the Indonesian archipelago. Heavy rains caused severe damage and destruction.
The flood and subsequent landslides caused the dam to overflow, submerged thousands of houses, and forced rescuers to reach the survivors after the disaster.
Raditya Djati, spokesperson for the Indonesian disaster management agency, told MetroTV: “There are 55 deaths, but this number is very dynamic and will definitely change, while 42 people are still missing.
The mud in the city of East Flores flooded houses, bridges, and roads. Due to rainfall and heavy waves, rescuers had difficulty reaching remote and hard-hit areas.
Authorities say that in East Timor, floods in the capital Dili killed 11 people. Joaquim Jose Gusmão dos Reis Martins, Secretary of State for Civil Defense of East Timor, said: “We are still looking for areas affected by natural disasters.”
The authorities warned that the death toll and the number of injured may still rise.
Agustinus Payong Boli (Agustinus Payong Boli), deputy director of the East Flores State Regent, estimated that there were 60 casualties in his city.
“Most of them (55 years old) were in the village of Lemanel. Many people died here because the village was hit by landslides and flash floods.” He told AFP that the figures provided have not been confirmed by the national authorities. .
Lemanele’s images show houses being swallowed, debris covering the entire road, fallen trees and damaged power lines.
According to an AFP reporter, in Lumbarta, a small island between Flores and Timor, some of the affected villages have been placed on the hillside and near the coastline. Local officials deployed heavy equipment to reopen roads that had been cut off.
The injured victims have been evacuated to neighboring villages not affected by flash floods. Images of Lembata show people walking barefoot in the mud, evacuating victims from collapsed houses on makeshift stretchers.
According to the disaster agency, in another flood on Sunday, two people were killed in a major flood in the neighboring city of Bima, West Nusa Tenggara.
Jati said that after nine hours of heavy downpour, dams in four districts also flooded, flooding nearly 10,000 houses in Bima.
During the rainy season, deadly landslides and flooding are common throughout the Indonesian archipelago. In January, flash floods hit the Indonesian town of Sumedang in West Java, killing 40 people.
In September last year, at least 11 people were killed in a landslide in Borneo.
The country’s disaster agency estimates that 125 million Indonesians (nearly half of the country’s population) live in areas at risk of landslides.
Environmentalists say that disasters are often caused by deforestation.