Flash Flooding and Landslides Sweep Across Timor-Leste and Indonesia Displacing Thousands
DILI, TIMOR-LESTE – APRIL 7, 2021 – Torrential rain since Friday, April 2 has caused flash flooding and landslides extending from Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province to Timor Leste in Dili, Baucau and Viqueque. Reportedly, there has been at least 100 fatalities since the weekend across the two nations, including at least six children, with several missing and thousands displaced.
In Timor-Leste alone, there are 11,299 displaced in formal evacuations centers and many more sheltering with host families representing 2,000+ households, 76 percent of which are from the capital of Dili. Homes, businesses, and buildings have been inundated with murky water. Road infrastructure and bridges have collapsed under heavy currents and power supplies remain cut in many areas impacting access to vulnerable communities.
ADRA in Timor-Leste is currently on the ground responding to provide emergency relief and is a part of the coordinated assessment team organized by the government of Timor-Leste Secretary of State for Civil Protection.
The ADRA team set out yesterday to conduct initial rapid needs assessments learning the most immediate needs are water, food and bedding. ADRA is partnering with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Timor-Leste to mobilize volunteers, source financial aid and provide facilities to act as evacuation centers for those displaced.
“Many people have houses which are uninhabitable. Once the flood waters subsided, people were left with deep mud in their houses and limited access to water and tools to clean up,” states Virginia Pycroft, country director of ADRA in Timor-Leste.
Timorese locals say these floods are the worst to hit their South Asian nation since the 1970s. Search and rescue operations are ongoing with fears of further casualties. Displaced households take shelter in at least 20 evacuation centers growing concerns to the spread of COVID-19 amongst the affected population with Dili itself still under lockdown until April 17, and Timor-Leste’s first recorded death from COVID-19 just yesterday.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended. For more information, visit ADRA.org.