Indonesia floods, landslides toll reaches 77

Leroy Wright
March 20, 2019

Spokesman of the search and rescue office in Jayapura district Yudi Yanto said 41 people were seriously injured and 75 others had minor wounds after the natural disaster hit several villages Saturday night.

Sentani subdistrict was the worst hit in the disaster, where a landslide early on Sunday was followed minutes later by a river that burst its banks, sweeping away residents in a fast-moving deluge of water, heavy logs and debris, said the local disaster mitigation agency head Martono.

Nugroho said rescuers evacuated more than 4,200 people to temporary shelters as more than 600 houses and buildings were damaged and submerged. Others were carrying bodies in black and orange body bags.

A series of earthquakes and aftershocks killed almost 500 people in Lombok past year and caused an estimated $500 million in damage to buildings and public infrastructure.

Malaysian and domestic tourists were visiting the Tiu Kelep waterfall in the north of the island when the landslides struck, West Nusa Tenggara disaster agency chief Muhammad Rum told Kompas TV.

By Sunday morning, videos showed people walking along a major street that was covered in mud. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common.

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the United Nations was ready to help Indonesia cope with the disasters.

The number of victims "will probably increase because the evacuation process is still taking place and not all affected areas have been reached", Nugroho said.

Indonesian police and soldiers search for residents who need assistance at a flooded neighborhood in Sentani, Papua Province, Indonesia, Monday, March 18, 2019. More than 2,000 serious disasters are reported each year, 90 percent of which are weather-related - mostly the result of flooding rains, tornadoes, fires and mudslides.

At least 58 people have died and thousands more have been displaced after heavy rain triggered flash floods and landslides in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua.

Rescuers are recovering victims and searching for survivors of flash floods in Papua province, Indonesia.

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