The Indonesian authorities today raised to 79 the deceased and to 43 the missing ones because of the floods that affect from Saturday the province of Papúa, in the east of the country, where the rescue work and search of victims continue.
The secretary of the disaster mitigation agency (BPBD) in Papua, Wisnu Aditya, said that there are also 79 injured – 38 serious and 41 minor – and more than 4,700 displaced people in the Sentani district where heavy rain that lasted 7 hours caused flooding .
The waterspout flooded part of the city of Sentani, located in the base of the Cycloop mountains, and its environs, and dragged to its step vehicles, trunks and other materials that hit buildings and other structures.
"We have not managed to reach some affected areas because the main roads are blocked by trees and mud," Wisnu told Efe in a telephone conversation.
The secretary of the BPBD added that the search and rescue efforts will continue at least until March 30 and that the number of fatalities is expected to continue increasing.
At least 11,725 families have been affected and most of the displaced remain in several shelters in the city of Sentani, the national spokesperson of the disaster mitigation agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.
The governor of the municipality of Jayapura, whose capital is Sentani, has established complementary medical services and public kitchens to attend the humanitarian emergency after the disaster.
Images disseminated by Sutopo show the strength of the torrent that flowed through the Papuan city and the subsequent floods where water reaches the waist of the residents.
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 corresponds to the Republic of Papua New Guinea.
Floods and landslides affect Indonesia every year during the rainy season, whose peak is between December and February.