At least 71 people have lost their lives due to flash flooding and landslides in Indonesia and East Timor on Sunday.
According to the international news agency, Torrential rain caused huge destruction in the area. Thousands of homes were affected due to the overflowing of dams. The affected areas are from Flores island in eastern Indonesia to East Timor.
Officials have warned that the death toll could increase as more than 40 people are still missing in Indonesia.
Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Djati told media, “There are 55 dead, but this number is very dynamic and will definitely change, while some 42 people are still missing,”
“The mud and the extreme weather have become a serious challenge and the debris piling up has hampered the search and rescue team.”
His colleague Alfons Hada Bethan, head of the East Flores disaster agency, said, “We suspect many people are buried but it’s not clear how many are missing,”
“The evacuees are spread out. There are hundreds in each sub-district but many others are staying at home. They need medicine, food, blankets.”
On the other hand, at least 21 people have also died in East Timor. Officials believe many of the victims are from Capital Dili.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has expressed grief over the situation.
“I have ordered for disaster relief efforts to be conducted quickly and well, for example for health service assistance, availability of logistics and basic needs for the displaced and the reparation of infrastructure,” he said.