Indonesia to set up transient shelters for victims of flash flood, landslide: official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-31 21:30:08|Editor: xuxin
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JAKARTA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia will immediately construct temporary shelters for victims of flash floods and landslides, which destroyed over 2,000 houses and killed 112 people in eastern Papua province, a senior disaster management official said Sunday.

The catastrophe striking Jayapura district on March 16 forced nearly 12,000 people to flee home after their houses were rattled by the current, and buried by soils, said Dodi Sambodo, spokesman of joint command post for emergency relief efforts in the province.

"Many of them have no more houses. Many others can not return to their houses because they have been severely damaged. Besides, the area where their houses are situated have been banned from settlement because they have been unsecured," the spokesman told Xinhua via phone from Jayapura district.

Coordination meeting among officials in the district has been carried out to make decision on several points, including the location of the shelters, the number of shelters to be constructed, relocation of the communities, and other crucial things, said Sambodo.

After the flash floods and landslides, the flow of a river had changed submerging many new grounds, and the surface of Lake Sentani in the district has also risen, forcing a further evacuation of local people in recent days.

For now the number of evacuees has reached over 7,000, who are staying in five major evacuation centers.

The district has entered a transitional period heading for recovery since Saturday after terminating emergency status, according to the national disaster management agency.

The natural disaster has also left 17 people missing, 961 others injured with 153 of whom having serious wounds, it said.

Besides houses, 59 school buildings, five bridges, two churches, three office buildings, one market, and one health clinic, were also damaged, it said.

Flash floods are frequent in remote Papua province, but the one striking on March 16 was among the worst. Deforestation at the upstream area of a local river was blamed for triggering the catastrophe, according to the agency.