More rescue teams sent to cyclone-hit Indonesian areas


Jakarta, April 7 (IANS) Additional rescue workers were being flown in as scores of people were still missing on Wednesday after a tropical cyclone devastated several islands in eastern Indonesia, officials said.

At least 126 people were killed and 74 missing after floods, landslides and a volcanic avalanche hit a group of islands in East Nusa Tenggara province over the weekend, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

Search and rescue teams will travel to the affected areas on Hercules C-130 cargo aircraft from Makassar in South Sulawesi, Bali and nearby Flores island, dpa news agency quoted NDMA spokesman Raditya Jati as saying.

“Police and soldiers will also join the search for the missing,” he said.

Six helicopters were sent late Tuesday to drop aid supplies to areas where access had been difficult because blocked roads, high seas and storms.

Among those killed were villagers whose homes were buried in a rain-triggered avalanche of debris from the Lewatolo volcano on Lembata island.

Lembata and neighbouring Adonara were the worst-hit by extreme weather triggered by cyclone Seroja, the disaster agency said.

Other affected areas include Alor island, Ende, the provincial capital Kupang and Bima in neighbouring West Nusa Tenggara province.

The severe weather has also killed at least 27 people in East Timor, a country of 1 million people that borders Indonesia’s West Timor.



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