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Toll from Tropical Cyclone Seroja Climbs in Indonesia; Dozens Still Missing

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 4/6/2021 Ron Brackett

Using everything from giant backhoes to bare hands, rescuers frantically dug through mud and debris Tuesday searching for more than 20 people buried by a landslide in eastern Indonesia.

The landslide on Lembata island killed at least 16 people when torrential rain caused by a tropical cyclone washed tons of volcanic rock onto a dozen villages on Sunday.

Altogether, landslides and flash floods have killed at least 86 people across several islands in Indonesia and 27 people in East Timor, according to the Associated Press.

The storm, which became Tropical Cyclone Seroja early Monday, is expected to affect the Southeast Asian nations the rest of this week as it moves south toward Australia.

Thousands of people have been displaced by the storm, and thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed. Washed out roads and bridges and piles of debris have hampered recovery efforts.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Doni Monardo said food and medicine, along with eight excavators, were ready to be shipped to the affected islands, but officials couldn't find transportation. He asked for help from the private sector.

Three helicopters did reach some of the remote areas on Tuesday.

The death toll in Indonesia was revised down to 86 on Tuesday after officials reverified names, AP reported. At least 98 people were listed as missing.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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