Landslides, floods kill over 100 in Indonesia

Jakarta, April 5, 2021

More than 100 people were killed and dozens are missing after floods and landslides hit East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia, officials and media reports said on Monday.

Volcanic debris from Mount Lewotolo engulfed homes on Sunday following heavy rain, killing 20 people and leaving more than 60 missing, Thomas Ola, the head of Lembata district, told dpa news agency.

"Fourteen villages are still totally isolated, with roads inaccessible," he said.

The death toll is likely to increase as information was still being gathered from the villages, he said.

Mount Lewatolo has erupted intermittently since December.

In another part of the province, the death toll after flash floods and landslides hit villages on Adonara island on Sunday rose to 73, Metro TV news channel reported.

Access to the island had been difficult because of high seas, said Raditya Jati, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

"The only way to get there is by sea and strong winds and storms mean that we can't sail," he said.

Furthermore, interruptions to internet access mean limited information is available and the death toll could be higher.

Meanwhile, on nearby Alor island, similar disasters killed at least 11 people, according to the disaster agency.

It said more than 100 homes were damaged and five bridges collapsed.

The climatology and meteorological agency predicted that some parts of Indonesia could face extreme weather, with heavy and torrential rain, strong winds and large waves during the week ahead.

The tropical cyclone Seroja may intensify over the coming days and is expected to move south-west away from Indonesia, it said.

President Joko Widodo said he was deeply saddened by the disasters.

"I understand the plight of our fellow citizens affected by the disasters," he said.

"I'm calling for immediate provision of health care, food and other basic needs to the affected people and restoration of infrastructure."

Indonesia has recorded nearly 1,000 disasters since January, mostly hydro-meteorological hazards, including flooding and landslides, according to the disaster management agency.

At least 337 people have been killed, 55 are missing and 4.3 million have been affected, with many displaced, it said.

IANS

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