Indonesia’s flash floods kill 75 | Daily News

Indonesia’s flash floods kill 75

A damaged truck is seen at an area affected by flash floods after heavy rains in East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia on Sunday.
A damaged truck is seen at an area affected by flash floods after heavy rains in East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia on Sunday.

INDONESIA: More than 75 people have died and dozens are still missing after flash floods and landslides hit Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor, officials said Monday, turning small communities into wastelands of mud and uprooted trees.

Sparked by torrential rain, the deluge and subsequent landslides sent thousands fleeing into shelters as dams overflowed and their homes were submerged.

Mud and continued extreme weather have made it difficult for rescue workers to reach trapped survivors.

“There are 55 dead, but this number is very dynamic and will definitely change, while some 42 people are still missing,” Indonesia disaster management agency spokesperson Raditya Jati told broadcaster MetroTV.

At least 21 people had also died in East Timor, said an official in the tiny half-island nation of 1.3 million that lies between Indonesia and Australia.

Many of the deaths were in Timor's inundated capital Dili.

In Indonesia's remote East Flores municipality, mud has washed over homes, bridges and roads, while strong waves have prevented search teams from accessing the hardest-hit areas.

On Lembata, an island east of Flores, parts of some villages were swept down a mountainside by torrents of mud and carried to the shore of the ocean.

Across the region, scared residents have flocked to temporary shelters or taken refuge in what was left of their homes. “The evacuees are spread out. There are hundreds in each sub-district but many others are staying at home,” said Alfons Hada Bethan, head of the East Flores disaster agency. Some 2,500 people had been evacuated in East Timor. - AFP