More than 50 people have died after flash floods and landslides swept through eastern Indonesia and neighbouring Timor-Leste on Sunday, authorities said, with warnings the toll could rise further.
Torrential rain wreaked havoc and destruction on islands stretching from Flores Island in Indonesia to Timor-Leste, a small nation east of the Indonesian archipelago.
The deluge and subsequent landslides caused dams to overflow, submerging thousands of houses and leaving rescue workers struggling to reach survivors trapped in the aftermath.
Raditya Jati, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency, said: “Four sub-districts and seven villages have been impacted. After verifying the data with our team in the field, we found that there are 41 people dead. Twenty-seven people are still missing and nine people are injured,” he added.
Mud inundated homes, bridges and roads in the East Flores municipality, where rescuers struggled to reach a remote and badly hit area because of rains and strong waves.