Floods and landslides in eastern Indonesia have left at least 41 dead
At least 41 people were killed in a mudslide, water and high-strength alchemy in eastern Indonesia on Sunday night, officials in charge of the disaster said.
Numerous floods and landslides plunged entire neighborhoods in East Nusa Tenggara Province, which includes more than 560 islands. Seven villages were damaged, according to Raditya Jati, a spokeswoman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Relief Agency. He said twenty-seven people were missing and nine were injured.
Some of the most serious damage was to the remote island of Adona, where many residents were preparing to celebrate Easter Sunday. The previous day had been rained down by heavy rains and strong winds. The damage left dozens of houses under mud and water. Five bridges were cut, Mr Raditya said.
The rescue effort has been hampered because the only way to get to Adona is by sea, and the water is noisy due to heavy rain, he said. But the priority is to move those who are alive to places that are safe from further flooding or landslides.
“We continue to coordinate with different departments,” Mr. Raditya said. “At the moment we are focusing on the first response.”
East Nusa Tenggara is the only majority Catholic province in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world.
Every year, during the monsoon season, Indonesia holds the keys to a water-induced calamity. But the country has other misfortunes. With thousands of islands inhabited by seismically active “rings of fire”, Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, severe floods, landslides and severe storms.
The country has also worked on it in recent years plane crashes, ship accidents and other means of transportation.
In January, landslides killed About 40 people in Java, the most populous island in Indonesia. There, after meeting with disaster management officials to assist in the search and rescue efforts, another mud occurred. Among the dead were the head of an anti-casualty agency and the captain of the Indonesian Army.
Indonesia’s wild forest has contributed to the risk of such disasters, leaving the soil loose when heavy rains come and leaving a risk of deadly mudslides.
Earlier this weekend, the national meteorological department warned of heavy rainfall, Mr Raditya said. But many residents of small, remote islands like Adona have few safe places to shelter.
“I think the biggest challenge will be how to use heavy equipment,” Mr. Raditya said, referring to efforts to extract people and homes in hopes of survival.
Seeing the communications challenges, Mr. Raditya said he was not sure if the right equipment was available in Adona.