Jakarta, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- At least 70 people have died due to flash flooding and landslides caused by the heavy rains lashing eastern Indonesia and the small nation of East Timor since the weekend, while dozens of people are missing.
National Agency for Disaster Management spokesperson Raditya Dati told Metro TV Monday that 44 have died due to flooding and landslides on the island of Flores, where some 26 people remain missing.
Eighty families were affected and 256 displaced were in an emergency shelter, while 17 houses were washed away, and dozens submerged, in addition to telecoms interruptions and infrastructure damage, the agency said, warning that casualties may rise.
The East Timor Civil Protection agency reported at least 13 deaths due to the storm that hit the country, where the capital, Dili, has been partially flooded.
On the Indonesian island of Lembata, near East Timor, another 11 people died, while rescue teams search for another 16, the disaster management agency said in its latest update.
Rescue teams have difficulty accessing affected areas, some of which can only be reached by sea but hampered by strong winds and high waves in the area.
In Bima Regency, on the island of Sumbawa, the downpour lasted nine hours and caused severe flooding of up to 2 meters deep, causing at least two deaths and affecting more than 27,000 people.
The Indonesian meteorological agency has warned of heavy rains in the coming week in several areas of the archipelago, where the rainy season generally takes place between November and March.
Indonesia has suffered 1,030 natural disasters in 2021, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, fires and tornadoes, which have caused 282 deaths so far. EFE-EPA