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JAKARTA -Douzens of people were sought for by rescuers in remote south-eastern Indonesian islands on Tuesday, while refurbishments came to help following a tropical cyclone, killing at least 119 people.

Helicopters have been deployed to support investigation, and vessels carrying food, water, blankets, and medicine have previously arrived at ports blocked by high waves filled with tropical cyclone Seroja.In the East Nusa Tenggara Island, Indonesia’s disaster agency BNPB updated the death toll, with the death of the 86. There were still 76 people missing.

Rescuers After Cyclone
Image Source: Reuters

“The rescue team is moving on the ground. The weather is good,” BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati told a news briefing.

Search and rescue personnel, however, had trouble transporting heavy equipment for use in the search.

“Search for victims is constrained, the existing heavy equipment cannot be sent to their destination, especially in Adonara and Alor,” the head of BNPB, Doni Monardo, said.The islands of Adonara and Alor were one of the most affected islands by cyclones, with respectively 62 and 21 people killed.

Aerial pictures showed brown mud and flood water from Adonara on Tuesday covered by a huge area of bury houses, roads and trees.

The soldiers and volunteers arrived on the islands and established public kitchens on Tuesday, while medical workers arrived.

In the Tanjung village Batu at Lembata in the Ile Lewotolok Volcano, a video was taken from a local officer showing fell trees and huge rocks of cold lava which crushed houses following the breakdown of the cyclone.Thousands of displaced people were affected, almost 2,000 buildings and more than 100 houses were severely affected, including a hospital.

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The West Nusa Tenggara province was home to two people killed.

In crowded evacuation centers were also worried about possible Covid-19 infections.At least 33 people were killed in floods and ripples and falling trees in neighboring East Timor. Heavy equipment was being used by civil defense authorities to look for survivors.“The number of victims could still increase because many victims have not been found,” the main director of civil protection, Ismael da Costa Babo, told Reuters.

“They were buried by landslides and carried away by floods.”
Some Lembata Island residents were also washed into the sea by mud.

A volcano that erupted on the hillside of Lembata last month wasted vegetation, allowing hardened lava to slide into 300 houses after a cyclone hit, said a senior officer in the district, hoping that assistance would be on its way.“We were only able to search on the seashore, not in the deeper area, because of lack of equipment yesterday,” Thomas Ola Langoday told Reuters by phone.He fears that under big rocks many bodies were still buried.

President Joko Widodo called on his office to accelerate evacuation, relief and power restoration.

Dwikorita Karnawati, Head of Weather Agencies, said once-rare tropical cyclones occur in Indonesia more often.“Seroja is the first time we’re seeing tremendous impact because it hit the land. It’s not common,” she said.

Source: Reuters

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