Indonesia: East Timor flood death toll surges past 150: officials

Jakarta, Indonesia: Authorities said Tuesday that at least 157 people were killed in Indonesia and neighboring East Timor, with hundreds more still missing, after a tropical cyclone ravaged the Southeast Asian nations, displacing thousands.

In a cluster of remote islands near East Timor, Indonesia's disaster management agency said it had reported 130 deaths, with another 27 officially identified as dead.

More than 70 people are still missing in Indonesia, and rescuers are using diggers to clear mountains of debris left in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Seroja.

Torrential rains caused floods and landslides, transformed small villages into wastelands of muds, uprooted trees, and forced thousands of people into makeshift shelters.

Also read | More than 90 dead in Indonesia, East Timor floods, dozens missing

Authorities said that the catastrophe damaged or destroyed thousands of houses, hospitals, and bridges and that over 10,000 people sought refuge in shelters.

"We could still see extreme weather (from the cyclone) for the next few days," said national disaster agency spokesman Raditya Jati.

The storm was moving toward the west coast of Australia.

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