Floods, landslides, kill dozens in Indonesia and East Timor


JAKARTA (Reuters) – Flash floods unleashed by torrential heavy rains early on Sunday killed 23 people on Indonesia’s island of Flores, injuring nine more while five went missing, as the tiny neighbouring nation of East Timor reported three deaths.


At least 49 families were hit on the island in the east of Indonesia’s sprawling archipelago, Raditya Jati, a spokesman for disaster management agency BNPB, said in a statement.

“Dozens of houses were buried in mud in Lamanele village… residents’ houses washed away by the flood,” Raditya said, referring to the eastern part of Flores.

On Adonara island to the east of Flores, a bridge collapsed and rescuers were battling heavy rain, strong wind and waves, he added.

In neighbouring East Timor, a two-year-old child was among at least three people killed in a landslide on the outskirts of the capital, Dili, a Reuters witness said, although there was no official toll of casualties or deaths.

Power supplies were cut and the presidential palace was flooded as heavy rain and strong winds have lashed Dili since late on Saturday.

Civil protection officials in East Timor could not immediately be reached for comment. Social media posts showed collapsed buildings and vehicles submerged by flash floods.

More bitter weather threatens.

Indonesia’s weather agency said a tropical cyclone was approaching the Savu Straits between the southern part of Nusa Tenggara province and East Timor’s north coast, warning that it could bring yet more rain, waves and winds.

(Reporting by Tabita Diela, Nelson Da Cruz in Dili; Writing by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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