7 Apr 2011

Information patchy about Papua flood toll

6:02 pm on 7 April 2011

The Red Cross says it's had difficulty getting information about the situation in flood-stricken Paniai regency in Indonesia's Papua province.

The flooding, which burst major river banks last week, after weeks of heavy rain has destroyed many homes and tens of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate to higher ground.

Philip Charlesworth of the Red Cross says from the few local media and government reports he's received, about 18 people have died in and around Paniai.

"It's difficult to access and when the routes in - other than the air routes - are hampered by rain and wash-aways and the like, and I understand the airport was also submerged for some time, it makes it extremely difficult to get in and determine exactly what's happening."

Philip Charlesworth