Flash Floods have once again taken a heavy toll of lives and properties in the eastern Papua province of Indonesia. The death toll is at least 50 and it could rise still further with more than 50 injured. Many of the localities are inaccessible due to uprooted trees and rescue efforts have been undertaken on a war footing. Torrential rain followed by landslides are believed to have triggered the flash floods in Sentani. Travelers should note that this taking place near the provincial capital of Jayapura.

The Guardian reports the loss of property apart from the loss of lives.

The floodwaters are receding and evacuation of people from danger zones in different areas is on. A spokesman for the national disaster agency said, “The number of casualties and impact of the disaster will likely increase as search and rescue teams are still trying to reach other affected areas.”

Natural disaster throws lives into disarray

When any natural disaster strikes, the lives of everyday people are thrown into disarray. The roads are littered with uprooted trees, rocks, mud, and other material.

In such a situation, search and rescue teams struggle to locate and bring to safety those who are trapped in difficult-to-reach locations. In one of the most affected areas, huge rocks dislodged and rolled from a nearby mountain into a housing complex.

The Guardian says the authorities have arranged for temporary shelters in Sentani to accommodate the flood victims and provide necessary medical treatment.

Flooding during the rainy season is not new to Indonesia. However, flash floods compound the intensity of the disaster wherever they happen. Trees are lost due to various reasons and the green cover of trees is important for the environment. Its absence means a disturbance in the ecological balance. Trees are necessary to bind the soil and when that binding is not there, it will lead to natural disasters like floods with the loss of lives, and damage to infrastructure and properties.

Sentani subdistrict was worst hit

According to ABC, the Sentani subdistrict faced the fury of flash flooding when a riverbank burst and swept away many houses and people. Rescue teams evacuated more than 4,000 to temporary shelters with more than 300 houses damaged. The runway of the local airport was under water and was temporarily shut down after water damaged the power system. Indonesia is a chain of islands that face frequent landslides and floods that kill dozens every year. Most of the people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains and have to face the fury of such climatic disturbances. Indonesia is a popular Travel destination and during Christmas last year, a tsunami struck and swept away a band that was performing on the beach.