Jakarta, March 19 (IANS) The death toll from flash floods and landslides in Indonesia’s Papua province has increased to 89, with search and rescue operations continuing on Tuesday to locate 73 missing people.
Disaster Management (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that some 6,800 people have been displaced and nearly 160 injured in the disaster, reports Efe news.
Of the 89 victims, 82 died in the city of Sentai and its surrounding areas due to flooding triggered by a heavy downpour that lasted for seven hours on Saturday night.
Seven others were killed due to landslides in the provincial capital Jayapura.
The floods have severely damaged 350 buildings, eight educational centres, two churches, a mosque and three bridges.
More than 1,600 personnel from 23 government agencies and civil organisations have been taking part in the relief work and trying to reach areas where access has been cut off due to the floods.
The head of search and rescue agency Basarnas, Bagus Puruhito, said they needed heavy machinery to search and evacuate victims as road connectivity had been snapped.
The western half of the island of New Guinea, where the province of Papua is located, belongs to Indonesia and is a territory rich in natural resources, although underdeveloped, while the eastern part belongs to the Republic of Papua New Guinea.
Floods and landslides affect Indonesia each year during the rainy season which peaks between December and February.