(Update 1: updates casualties, adds details)
Jakarta, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- At least 95 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 remain missing.
Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Management said in its latest update on Monday that at least 68 people have been killed in the provinces of East Flores (44), Alor (11), Lebata (11) and Ende, while 70 people are missing.
Earlier, the agency had said that at least 80 families had been affected and 256 displaced people were in an emergency shelter, while 17 houses were washed away and dozens submerged, in addition to widespread disruptions in telecommunication services as well as other damage to infrastructure.
Meanwhile the East Timor state television reported on Monday that at least 27 people have been killed in the rainstorms lashing the nation of 1.3 million inhabitants, where capital Dili has been affected badly, with at least 13 people including nine children being killed in the city by the natural calamity.
Authorities in Indonesia’s East Flores province said that the local government and rescue teams were still working on the ground to tackle the disaster’s effects and the search for victims is continuing, local media outlets reported.
On the Indonesian island of Lembata, near East Timor, at least 11 people had died, while rescue teams were searching for another 16, the disaster management agency had said in an update.
Rescue teams have difficulty accessing affected areas, some of which can only be reached by sea and relief efforts have been 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