More than 70 dead in Indonesia, East Timor floods: officials

More than 70 people have died and dozens are still missing after flash floods and landslides hit Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor, officials said Monday. 

This handout photo taken on April 5, 2021 and released by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows the aftermath of a flash flood in Lembata, East Flores, as dozens are missing after flash floods and landslides killed more than 70 people in Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor, while thousands fled to shelters after the disaster left them homeless. HANDOUT / Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) / AFP)

“There are 55 dead, but this number is very dynamic and will definitely change, while some 42 people are still missing,” Indonesia disaster management agency spokesman Raditya Djati told broadcaster MetroTV.

At least 16 people had also died in East Timor, said an official in the tiny half-island nation that lies between Indonesia and Australia.

Floods sparked by torrential rain wreaked havoc and destruction on islands stretching from Flores in Indonesia to East Timor, sending thousands fleeing into shelters.

The deluge and subsequent landslides caused dams to overflow, submerging thousands of houses and leaving rescue workers struggling to reach trapped survivors.

Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Southeast Asian archipelago during the rainy season.

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