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.
Photo: AFP / Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB)
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.
‘IMPORTANT PARTNER’: The new guidelines aim to encourage US engagement with Taiwan, which reflects a deepening relationship, the US Department of State said The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu
CONFIDENTIAL: The trip had not been made public until just before ex-senator Chris Dodd, and ex-state department officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai. Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm. The flight landed at
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both
EXTREME WEATHER: Due to climate change, there is greater ‘interannual variability,’ meaning Taiwan is experiencing dramatically drier and wetter years, an expert said Despite a “less than ideal” amount of rain this month, the nation’s manufacturers “remain unaffected” by this year’s drought, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. “It’s true that the weather forecasts for April are not ideal, but by continuing current water restrictions in central Taiwan, there should be enough water until the plum rain season arrives,” Wang said. Taichung and Miaoli County have been on “red alert” since Tuesday last week, with weekly water supplies to households and businesses on for five days and off for two days. Large parts of Taichung’s Deji Reservoir (德基水庫) are nothing but mud due