Wednesday, 17 July, 2019

Flash floods kill at least 58 in Indonesia's Papua province

At least 42 dead in Indonesia flash floods Flash floods kill at least 50 in Indonesia's Papua
Patty Aguilar | 19 March, 2019, 23:46

At least one auto was washed away by the deluge and three bridges have sustained heavy damage, the spokesman for the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, tweeted.

The 5.5-magnitude quake is thought to have caused the landslide at the Tiu Kelep waterfall in the north of the island.

By Monday, wooden logs and other materials washed down by the flood water have blocked roads, hampering the rescue operation, the spokesman said.

Sentani Airport, the main link to the outside world, was not affected by the flood and continues to operate as normal, the Ministry of Transportation said.

In addition to these, there are seven others, who died from the landslides that hit the nearby provincial capital Jayapura.

Nugroho posted videos online that showed waters rushing through streets and town centers.

"The rain started last night and went on until around 1:00 am this morning", said Lilis Puji Hastuti, a 29-year-old mother of two young children in Sentani.

Suryadi Diaz, a Papua police spokesman, told The New York Timesthat the flooding was exacerbated by the cutting of trees in the hills above Sentani - part of an effort to convert the land for farming. He said there was likely to be more because not all affected areas had been reached.

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Meanwhile, three people were killed - including two Malaysian tourists - and some 182 were injured after an natural disaster Sunday triggered a landslide on the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, next to Bali.

"We have told local authorities to be careful of floods or flash floods considering forest destruction that has been happening in the Cyclops mountains", he said.

Flooding is common in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season which runs from October to April.

Indonesia's military took up the grim task of putting the corpses of mud-caked victims into body bags, after flash floods and landslides ripped through the area.

The United Nations also expressed its readiness to cooperate with the Indonesian authorities in responding to the humanitarian needs resulting from these natural disasters.

The flooding triggered mudslides, making the roads nearly impassable.

Papua, Indonesia's easternmost province, occupies the western half of the island of New Guinea.

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