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Cyclone Seroja kills 97, displaces thousands in Indonesia

A man in helmet carrying his goods through the water in an area affected by floods after heavy rains in Dili, East Timor. Photo: Reuters

97 people have died in southeast Indonesia and East Timor, after floods and landslides were triggered by tropical cyclone Seroja, with many still unaccounted for and thousands displaced, officials have said.

At least 70 deaths were reported in several islands in Indonesia’s West and East Nusa Tenggara provinces, while 70 others were missing, after the cyclone brought flash floods, landslides and strong winds amid heavy rain over the weekend, Reuters reports.

An area in East Flores destroyed by the the floods. Photo: Reuters

In East Timor, which shares the Timor island with  Indonesia, at least 27 people were killed by landslides, flash floods and a falling tree, while 7,000 displaced, its government said.

On Lembata island, authorities feared bodies had been washed away. “We are using rubber boats to find bodies at sea. In several villages, flash floods hit while people were sleeping,” Deputy Head of Lembata District Government, Thomas Ola Langoday said.

About 30,000 people have been impacted by floods in Indonesia, some already taking shelter in evacuation centres, but rescue operations have been made difficult after five bridges collapsed and falling trees blocked some roads, Spokesman of disaster agency BNPB, Raditya Jati said.


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