Tourists trapped as landslide hits Indonesia

Many are left homeless after a natural disaster swept through this village. This picture depicts the rubble that was left behind.

Around 40 tourists have become trapped in a landslide triggered by an earthquake near Lombok, Indonesia over the weekend.

The ABC reported two moderate earthquakes on Lombok had triggered landslides at a waterfall site trapping 40 foreign and domestic tourists.

A disaster agency official confirmed that at least two of the 40 tourists had died as a result of the event, warning that the death toll could rise.

Malaysian and domestic tourists were visiting the Tiu Kelep waterfall in the north of the island when the landslides struck, West Nusa Tenggara disaster agency chief Muhammad Rum told Kompas TV.

“We hope they all survive. We cannot be sure yet, the evacuation is still underway,” Rum said.

Search and rescue efforts have so far only managed to evacuate three of the 40, while Rum could not confirm the nationality of those who died or remained trapped.

Flash floods caused by the earthquakes have killed at least 50 people in the easternmost province of Papua, while the town of Sentani, near the provincial capital Jayapura, was hit by flash floods triggered by torrential rain on Saturday.

National disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement that a search operation was still underway.

At least nine houses, two bridges and a Twin Otter plane at the region’s main airport were damaged by the floods, but the Sentani airport, the province’s main transport hub, remains open.

Disaster authorities have warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town.

“We’ve told local authorities to be careful of floods or flash floods considering forest destruction that has been happening in the Cyclops mountains,” Nugroho told Kompas TV.

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