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Offbeat Floods in Indonesia and East Timor: Nearly 90 deaths and dozens of missing

12:15  05 april  2021
12:15  05 april  2021 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Les conséquences de la crue soudaine provoquées par des pluies torrentielles sur l'Île de Lembata, à l'est de Florès, en Indonésie. © AFP / Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) The consequences of sudden flood caused by torrential rains on the island of Lembata , east of Florès, Indonesia.

Sudden floods and floods caused by torrential rains flooded thousands of houses and sowed chaos on the islands between Flores, Indonesia, and East Timor. Nearly 90 people are dead and dozens missing.

Nearly 90 people have perished and dozens of others are always missing in the floods and landslides in Indonesia and East Timor, have announced on Monday local officials, on Monday, April 5th.

Sudden floods and floods caused by torrential rains sowed chaos in areas between Flores, Indonesia, and East Timor, pushing thousands of people looking for a shelter in reception centers. This flood broke out water tanks and flooded thousands of houses, while rescuers were trying to assist victims.

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President Joko Widodo expressed his "condolences". "I measure the immense sentence of our brothers and sisters after this catastrophe" , "he said in a speech to the nation.

Many people still buried

anywhere in the affected areas, there were rugged inhabitants were rushed to docks while others remained close to what was left of their home. "The evacuates are scattered everywhere, there are hundreds in all the districts, but many people also stayed at home» , explains Alfons Hada Bethan, head of the Florès Eastern Disaster Management Agency . "They need medicine, food, blankets" .

The precipitation still supported also complicate the situation. "We think that many people are always buried, but we do not know how much" , "he said.

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mud and weather complicate the work of the rescuers

The Indonesian disaster management agency reported 66 dead, against 55 entered before. At least 21 people have found death in East Timor, according to a Timorese manager. Most deaths took place in Dili, the capital.

In the east of Indonesian Island of Florès, many houses, roads and bridges were covered with mud, which complicated the task of the rescuers tempting to reach the most affected areas. "The mud and weather is a big challenge, as well as the debris that pile up and make the research difficult" , said Raditya Djati, spokesman for the Indonesian disaster management agency.

In Lembata, an island located mid-distance between Flores and Timor, road access were cut off, which forced the authorities to deploy construction machines to reopen roads.Some villages located on heights have partly been Carried away from the shoreline in landslides.Basir Langoday, an inhabitant of the island, told having heard calls for help from a house covered with debris.

"There were four people inside. Three survived but not the last ", he told reporters. Basir Langoday and his friends have done everything to try to save, in vain, the man stuck in his house: "He shouted: hurry up, I do not hold anymore.

Deforestation promotes these disasters

landslides and sudden floods are common in the Indonesian archipelago, including the rainy season. But environmental advocates emphasize that deforestation promotes these disasters.

In January, 40 Indonesians had found death during floods that affected the city of Sumedang, in the west of Java.

The National Disaster Management Agency estimates that 125 million Indonesians, about half of the archipelago population live in areas at risk of landslides.

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