UNITED NATIONS – Tropical Cyclone Seroja has claimed the lives of at least 96 people, with another 70 reported missing in East Timor and Indonesia, UN humanitarians said on Monday.
At least 75 people died in Indonesia because of the storm, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. The highest toll from heavy rains, flash floods and winds was in Indonesia’s southernmost province of East Nusa Tenggara.
According to local government sources, in the province of West Nusa Tenggara, more than 25,750 people are reported directly affected by flooding, OCHA said. Waves up to six meters high reportedly hit the southern coast of Timor Island. Landslides cut many roads and electricity is interrupted in many areas.
Local, provincial, national governments and non-governmental partners are supplying food, blankets and COVID-19 testing kits. The Indonesian Red Cross has mobilized personnel to assist with evacuations, provide first aid services and assist with evacuation.
The humanitarian office said there had been no official request for international assistance in Indonesia.
In East Timor, on the eastern end of Timor Island, at least 21 people died from March 29 to April 4, OCHA said. UN humanitarian agencies supporting government efforts at evacuation sites in the capital city of Dili are assisting in the life-saving needs of affected people, particularly women and children. Dili is the worst affected by flooding.
Preliminary official figures show more than 10,000 people have been affected across eight municipalities. More than 76 percent of the affected people are in Dili municipality.
The UN Population Fund said it delivered 125 dignity kits. That is enough for 125 households or 625 people. The UN Children’s Agency had distributed sanitary kits, tarps, plastic mats and blankets.
The government, with support from humanitarian partners, leads the humanitarian response, OCHA said. It provides essential services to affected people, including identifying and managing evacuation facilities, the evacuation and transportation of vulnerable groups, debris removal and rehabilitating damaged infrastructure.
The Ministry of Health is providing medical services in all evacuation facilities.