《TAIPEI TIMES》 Indonesia flash floods kill 44, toll expected to grow
The aftermath of a flash flood in the village of Lamanele, Indonesia, yesterday. Photo: AFP / Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management （BNPB）
WIDESPREAD: Floods killed an additional two people in the province of West Nusa Tenggara, while overflowing dams engulfed nearly 10,000 residences
/ AFP, JAKARTA
At least 44 people were killed after flash floods and landslides swept an island in Indonesia’s easternmost province yesterday morning, rescue officials said, adding that they expected the toll to rise.
“There are 44 people dead, with nine injured” in East Flores Regency and “many ... are still under the mud,” Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati told reporters.
Hours before people woke to celebrate Easter Sunday, torrential rain unleashed flash floods in the Catholic-majority Flores Island.
Mud inundated homes, while bridges and roads in the eastern end of the island were destroyed.
Rescuers were struggling to reach the remote and worst-hit area in East Flores because of rains and strong waves.
The death toll rose from 23 earlier announced by authorities.
The number of injured is also expected to increase as the agency is still receiving reports from locals, Jati said.
“We are still documenting the total number of people injured,” the spokesperson said, adding that extreme weather is expected to continue in the coming week.
Separately yesterday, major floods also killed two people in Bima city in the neighboring province of West Nusa Tenggara, the disaster agency said.
Dams in four subdistricts also overflowed, submerging nearly 10,000 houses in Bima following a nine-hour downpour, Jati said.
Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago during the rainy season.
In January, flash floods hit the Indonesian town of Sumedang in West Java, killing 40 people.
In September last year, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo, while a few months earlier dozens died in a similar disaster in Sulawesi.
Deforestation is often a cause of the landslides, environmentalists have said.
The country’s disaster agency has estimated that 125 million Indonesians — nearly half of the country’s population — live in areas at risk of landslides.