Lembata, Indonesia, April 7 2021: Torrential rain from Cyclone Seroja, one of the most destructive storms for the region for in years, resulted in communities turned to mud and 10,000 people now seeking shelter.The current death toll including deaths in East Timor, now stands at 150
To battle the crisis, the Indonesian navy stepped in for treatment of survivors and helicopters were also dropping food and other essentials into remote villages, as rescuers turned to sniffer dogs in the hunt for dozens still missing after the weekend floods and landslides devastated the Southeast Asian nations. The destruction resulted in buildings being swept off the mountainside to the shores on Lembata island.
East Timor, a tiny island between Indonesia and Australia had its capital Dili inundated, with the front of its presidential palace transformed into a mud pit.
The spokesperson for the disaster management authority, Raditya Jati said the hospital ships were due to leave Jakarta and Semarang, bound for the disaster-struck region. All the while, corpses are being dug out from the mud and debris. Hospitals, bridges and thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm, flattening villages, as both the countries simultaneously battle with the floods and the pandemic.
The Indonesian archipelago is particularly prone to fatal landslides and flash floods. January saw floods hit the Indonesian town of Sumedang, killing 40 people. And last September, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo.
According to the disaster agency, 125 million Indonesians — nearly half of the country’s population live in areas at risk of landslides. The disasters are often caused by deforestation, according to environmentalists.
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