Officials report at least 79 people have died as of Monday, March 18, due to flash flooding and mudslides in Papua province. Heavy rains in the region caused deadly flooding and mudslides in Sentani (Jayapura regency) on Saturday, March 16. Dozens of people have been injured and an estimated 5700 people have been evacuated. Authorities indicate 43 people are still missing as of Monday. Over 600 homes and buildings, including churches and mosques, have been destroyed. Additional rain and thunderstorms are forecast for Papua province in the coming days and further flooding is possible in affected areas.
Indonesia experiences its rainy season from October through April.
In addition to the weather-related deaths in Papua province, two earthquakes of moderate intensity struck Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara province) on March 17, triggering landslides which left at least three people dead at the Tiu Kelep waterfall. Roughly 182 others were reportedly injured. Infrastructure damage to more than 500 homes was also reported in the area of impact.
Individuals in the affected areas, and in Papua and West Papua provinces more generally, are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions (including due to road closures and damaged infrastructure), and remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult.
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