At least 157 people have died and dozens more are still missing in the floods and landslides generated by the torrential rains of tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia and East Timor, according to a new report announced Tuesday (April 6).
The Indonesian Center for Disaster Management reported 130 deaths in several islands near East Timor, where 27 deaths were also recorded. The previous death toll for the two countries was 113 dead.
→ READ. Floods in Indonesia, East Timor kill over 100
In Indonesia, rescuers continue to fight to try to find more than 70 missing people, sometimes using backhoes to remove debris accumulated during the passage of the cyclone.
The torrential rains of recent days have generated flash floods and landslides, sometimes destroying homes. More than 10,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation centers.
Thousands of homes, roads, bridges and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed. Lines of communication were covered with mud and uprooted trees, making it difficult for rescuers to reach the worst affected areas.
“We still risk seeing extreme weather in the coming days” due to the cyclone, Indonesian disaster management agency spokesman Raditya Jati said.
The lifeguards “Are still trying to respond to the disaster, by organizing evacuations, searches, offering solutions to rehouse homeless people, distributing aid and trying to reach disaster areas”.
The storm is now advancing towards the west coast of Australia.