5 Oct 2010

Papua flash floods claim at least 11 lives

3:42 pm on 5 October 2010

Reports from the Indonesian province of West Papua say between 11 and 27 people were killed in flash flooding yesterday following torrential downpours.

Local officials says thousands of buildings including houses, schools and offices were badly damaged, and hundreds of people have been displaced in the Teluk Wondama district.

The Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross says the extent of the damage is unclear, but between one and seven people are reported missing and hundreds are injured.

The delegation's head, Philip Charlesworth says while the government and aid agencies have the resources to cope with the situation, it's devastating for those involved.

"It's always a tragedy in these areas where even small numbers make a big impact on the communities from which they are lost, a very tragic situation."

Philip Charlesworth says the Red Cross delegation has sent in a team with kits, tarpaulins and blankets for 500 families, which have to be transported by sea because of the remoteness of the area.