UN chief expresses solidarity with Indonesian authorities after flash floods kill dozens in Papua

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe UN Secretary-General António Guterres

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


More than 70 have died and dozens are missing in Indonesia’s eastern province of Papua, which was hit by flash floods and landslides on Sunday, and more than 4,000 have reportedly been displaced.

In a statement from his office, Secretary-General António Guterres said that he was “saddened by the loss of life, destruction of property and displacement of people’ due to flash floods and landslides in Sentani, Jayapura and Papua, and of the earthquake in West Nusa Tenggara Province.”

The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of Indonesia”, the statement continued.

According to news reports, rescue workers have struggled to reach the remote parts of Papua, and there are fears that the death toll may rise. Roads are blocked and bridges have been damaged, along with more than 100 houses.

The rain began on Saturday evenig and continued into Sunday, triggering flash-flooding and landslides. News reports said that at least 50 were killed in the town of Sentani, where the search for victims continues.

In January, at least 70 were killed on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi due to flooding and heavy rain in West Java earlier this month, displaced hundreds of people.

Responding to the flooding and earthquake reports, Mr. Guterres said that “the United Nations expresses its solidarity with the Indonesian authorities and stands ready to work with them as they respond to the humanitarian needs resulting from both natural disasters.”

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