More than 63 killed, dozens injured as severe flash floods hit Papua, Indonesia

More than 63 people were killed, at least 74 injured and 4 000+ displaced in the Indonesian province of Papua over the weekend as heavy rain produced severe flash floods and landslides, the country’s disaster officials said Sunday, March 17, 2019. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers continue SAR operations.

The worst of the flooding took place in the town of Sentani, near the provincial capital Jayapura on Saturday evening.

The spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster management agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said 51 people were killed in the town and 74 injured. About 4 150 people are taking shelter in six evacuation centers.

9 houses were washed away in the town and hundreds of others flooded in neck-high water and mud. In addition, a Twin Otter aircraft was damaged at the Sentani International Airport, several roads and at least two bridges. 

“We are still assessing the damage,” Sutopo said. “There will likely be more [damage and casualties] because not all affected areas had been reached.”

Papua police spokesman, Suryadi Diaz, said the overcutting of trees in the hills above the town to convert the forest to farming land contributed to the heavy flooding. “There was little vegetation to slow the flow of water,” Diaz said. “Small rivers quickly became overloaded,” he added.

Nugroho said that disaster management authorities had warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation and sent seedlings intended for tree-planting.

“Forest destruction in the Cyclops mountains have increased for use as firewood and to turn the land into plantations,” Nugroho said. “We have warned the Jayapura government to be careful of flash flood risks because of this deforestation,” he added.

Featured image: Severe floods in Sentani, Papua, Indonesia on March 16, 2019. Credit: Jack Okoka (Phantom Photography)

Register/become a supporter

Your support is crucial for our survival. It makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share. 

You’ll receive your ad-free account for 20x faster browsing experience, clean interface without any distractions, ability to post comments without prior editorial check, all our desktop and mobile applications (current and upcoming) ad-free and with the full set of features available, a direct line of communication and much more. See all options.

Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Being in Nature as a Kid Is Linked to Better Mental Health in Adulthood
Scientists Just Built a Laser From Sound Waves That Can Help Us Detect Weak Forces
MH370 news: Hijackers could still be alive after plane takeover, says expert | Weird | News
Pluto Was Supposed to Be Fully Frozen
‘We’re all pretty worried’: Eight million salmon killed in a week by sudden surge of algae in Norway – Deaths come weeks after similar incident in Scotland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *