Devastating flash floods and landslides have killed at least 113 people in Timor-Leste (East Timor), West Timor and Flores since the Easter weekend. Officials expect the death toll to rise as there are still dozens of people missing. Our partners are responding.
Across Timor-Leste and West Timor, home to some of the poorest communities in our region, storms and heavy rains sent torrents of water through towns and villages, turning streets into canals and destroying homes and businesses. 30,000 people have been affected and thousands are now taking refuge.
We are still gathering information, but our partners in Timor-Leste, IPTL, have reported being badly impacted. They are reeling from severe flooding and now facing the challenge of communities being cut off from food, water and electricity.
Our partners in West Timor, GMIT, have also been hit hard. Several people have died and a project we support on Rote Island has been devastated. Partner staff have flooded homes and their headquarters in Kupang is badly damaged (see header image). GMIT church buildings have been opened for use as emergency shelters (see image right).
This crisis, of course, is unfolding during a global pandemic among communities who were already highly vulnerable to it’s impacts. Thousands of people have had to access temporary refugee centres, where there is the danger of COVID-19 transmission and experts fear it could cause the number of cases in the region soaring.
Our partners in West Timor have asked for prayer:
Greetings from Us here in Kupang, we hope that everyone is fine in the midst of Covid-19 Pandemic.
In the joy of welcoming Easter 2021, we had to face The Seroja Tropical Cyclone which took place on April 5 at 11.00 WITA and ended on the 6th, at 9.30 AM. This storm is really a tough test for us in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic because it has brought the impact of hydrometeorological disasters ranging from heavy rain, flash floods, and strong winds. The areas affected by this disaster were the City of Kupang, Kupang Regency, TTS, Belu, the islands of Flores, Alor, Rote, Sabu and East Sumba.
The congregation who lives in the coastal areas and its surroundings have moved to GMIT churches because their houses were flooded/damaged by storms … the electricity went out since last night until now because the electricity cable was hit by a fallen tree, we do not have internet access except in certain places .. but Praise God that after the storm God gave us sunny weather so that the cleaning/evacuation process can run well today and the situation has started to be conducive, Thank GOD!
The recent number of victims due to the Seroja Tropical Cyclone reached 2,655 households due to damaged infrastructure, 68 people died, 15 people were injured, 70 people were missing (data as of today and will be updated).
We ask for your prayers and support so that we are strong and able to get through this situation, and can even support one another.
Once again Happy Easter, May God’s love surround us in any situation.
Help us support our partners in Timor-Leste and West Timor
We have launched an appeal to support the emergency relief work of our partners. Funds raised will help provide displaced and vulnerable people with immediate needs of food, shelter and health care. In the longer term, it will support rebuilding, rehabilitation and the re-establishment of people’s livelihoods. Your support will make a huge difference and will be a powerful gesture of solidarity with our close neighbours dealing with the double crisis of floods and COVID-19. Please give generously.
Uniting Church in Australia Assembly National Consultant Rev Dr Apwee Ting has written a prayer for those in the affected areas.
|Doa buat Nusa Tenggara Timur
Tatkala angin menyampaikan pesan nya dengan topan
Tatkala gerimis menyampaikan kesan nya melalui badai
Air mengalir tidak lagi bersahabat
Angin bergeliat tidak lagi berdesah
Tangis sedih mengiringi duka yang dalam
Luka dalam menetes darah
Berpisah tanpa kata kata
Nusa Tenggara Timur
Ku peluk dalam doa dan duka
Ku sebut nama mu
Nusa Tenggara Timur
Tidak sendirian dalam penderitaan
Ibu Pertiwi memeluk mu
Anak anak nusantara menopang mu
Tuhan pun ada bersama mu
|Prayer for Nusa Tenggara Timur
When the wind conveyed its message with a hurricane
When the drizzle conveyed its impression through the storm
Running water is no longer friendly
The wriggling wind was no longer sighing
Sad tears accompany deep grief
The wound is dripping with blood
Parting without words
East Nusa Tenggara
I embrace in prayer and sorrow
I say your name
I’ll pick you up
East Nusa Tenggara
Not alone in suffering
Mother Earth hugs you
The children of the archipelago support you
God is with you too
Header image: Our partner TLM’s headquarters in Kupang, West Timor after the storm. TLM is the development agency of our church partner GMIT.