63 killed after flash floods strike eastern Indonesia
Sixty-three bodies have been retrieved after flash floods hit Indonesia's easternmost Papua province on Saturday night, and a search and rescue operation is still ongoing for dozens still missing, a rescue team member said on Sunday.
The flash floods, triggered by torrential rains, destroyed buildings, bridges and other infrastructure facilities, Cory Simbolon, head of the emergency unit of the provincial disaster management agency, told Xinhua.
So far scores of villagers including a baby have been rescued, of whom 21 suffered serious injuries, Yadi Yanto, spokesman of the provincial search and rescue office, said.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency, said the number of those injured stood at 59.
All of them have been rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment, the spokesman told Xinhua in a text message.
According to the emergency unit of the provincial disaster agency, the disaster occurred around 18:00 p.m. local time, forcing over 3,000 people to flee home for safe places.
Spokesman Sutopo said relief efforts have been undertaken, involving soldiers, police, volunteers, among others. Some supplies have been distributed to the affected people and a joint post command will be set up, he added.
Indonesia is frequently hit by floods and landslides during heavy rains.