Indonesia flood death toll rises to 89, dozens missing

This handout picture taken and released by Indonesia’s Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), the accident mitigation agency, on March 19 shows workers clearing a road after flash floods in Sentani. Photo: AFP

SENTANI: At least 89 people are known to have died after flash floods and landslides tore through Indonesia’s Papua region, with the toll expected to rise further as rescuers hunt for dozens still missing, the national disaster agency said Tuesday.

Scores have also been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain on Saturday, with some 6,800 people evacuated to temporary shelters.

The military has taken up the grim task of putting mud-caked corpses into body bags, with the search hampered by mountains of debris including rocks and fallen trees.

Seventy-four people remain unaccounted for, while around 150 suffered broken bones, cuts and other injuries.

“Many people are choosing to stay at shelters because they’re still traumatised and scared of more flash floods, so some evacuation centres are packed,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. – AFP