6 Oct 2010

Access to West Papua's region hit by deadly floods difficult, says NGO

11:11 am on 6 October 2010

At least 56 people have been killed and 24 remain missing after flash floods in a remote region of Indonesia's West Papua province.

A disaster management official says communication lines have been cut off and roads to the affected areas are blocked by fallen trees after torrential downpours

The head of the Indonesian delegation of the International Federation of the Red Cross, Phillip Charlesworth, says establishing links to West Papua is already difficult.

"As far as other organisations in the area go, Papua is a very sensitive area for the Indonesia government and not many organisations are allowed to work there at the moment. So getting information out is difficult at best."

Phillip Charlesworth of the IFRC.

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency has dispatched a 12-man team with a 150-seat rescue boat to the area.

Relief teams have also been deployed to deliver relief goods to people, many of whom are displaced, in the hardest-hit areas.