A search for more possible victims was under way in the town of Sentani, which was hit by flash floods late on Saturday (March 16). Fifty-one people were killed and 74 injured there, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster agency, told a news briefing.
Heavy rain caused landslides in the nearby provincial capital of Jayapura, killing seven there, Nugroho said.
Nugroho said the number of victims “will probably increase because the evacuation process is still taking place and not all affected areas have been reached.”
About 4,150 people are sheltering in six evacuation centres, he added.
Disaster authorities have warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town, Nugroho said, adding that in 2018 Jakarta sent seedlings intended for tree-planting.
(Production: Nur-Azna Sanusi, Martin Veal)