124 dead, 74 missing due to tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia


   JAKARTA, April 7 -- The death toll due to the impact of tropical cyclone Seroja in Indonesia's province of East Nusa Tenggara rose to 124 with 74 others still missing, the National Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday.
   The agency's spokesman Raditya Jati said the deaths were reported in East Nusa Tenggara province's districts of East Flores at 67, Lembata at 28, Alor at 21, Malaka at three, Sabu Raijua at two, Ende at one and Kupang at one as well as Kupang city at one.
   "This figure is still dynamic as the evacuation process is still being carried out," Jati told a virtual press conference.
   Besides, 129 people were injured, 13,230 were displaced at a number of evacuation points, and 87 public facilities were damaged.
   A total of 688 houses were heavily devastated, 272 moderately destroyed, and 154 slightly damaged.
   Meanwhile, a number of areas are still isolated and the electricity grid is cut off.
   Authorities have distributed foods, blankets and tents to the displaced.
   They have also sent face masks and provided 10,000 COVID-19 antigen tests to prevent the spread of the virus in evacuation posts, Jati added.
   The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency said such extreme weather as heavy rains, strong winds, and high sea waves of up to six meters occurred after the tropical cyclone Seroja was swirled in the Savu Sea, south of East Nusa Tenggara province with a peak on April 5, 2021.
   Currently, Seroja's wind speed rises to 130 km per hour and moves away from Indonesia's territory, although the impact would still be felt in a number of provinces in the southern part of the country for the next few days.
   Seroja is the 10th tropical cyclone hitting Indonesia since 2008 but had the worst impact as it made landfall.  Xinhua