Dozens dead as torrential rains trigger flash floods in Indonesia and East Timor

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Flash floods unleashed by torrential rains killed 41 people on the Indonesian island of Flores on Sunday, the disaster management agency BNPB said, and at least three more were reported killed in neighbouring East Timor.

At least 49 families were hit on Flores, in the east of Indonesia’s sprawling archipelago, Raditya Jati, a BNPB spokesman 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 witness said, although there was no official toll of casualties or deaths.

“Heavy rains and overflowing water have drowned people’s homes and have also claimed the lives of several victims,” East Timor deputy prime minister José Reis said in a statement.

“There are roads that have collapsed, trees have fallen, and made it difficult to access some areas,” he said, calling the incident the worst in East Timor in 40 years.

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

Social media posts showed collapsed buildings and vehicles submerged by flash floods in East Timor.

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.

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