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Cyclone Seroja: Indonesian rescuers search for survivors

Rescuers in Indonesia are searching for dozens of people missing in remote islands of the country’s southeast, following a tropical cyclone that has killed at least 128 people.

Helicopters were deployed on Tuesday to aid the search for survivors among seventy-two people reported missing so far in the East Nusa Tenggara islands, where tropical cyclone Seroja brought strong winds and heavy rains, triggering flash floods and landslides.

Reuters cited an amateur video taken by a local official in Tanjung Batu village on Lembata island, home to the Mount Ile Lewotolok volcano, which showed felled trees and large rocks of cold lava that had crushed homes after being dislodged by the cyclone.

Authorities said the death toll could rise as rescuers reach more isolated areas. Images from the region on Monday showed downed trees, choppy seas and wooden homes flattened by the storm and debris floating in muddy floodwater.

At least 8,424 people were displaced and nearly 2,000 buildings including a hospital were impacted by Seroja. Also, more than 100 homes were heavily damaged by the cyclone, which had moved over the Indian Ocean by Tuesday morning, headed towards northern Australia.

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