Friday night's floods in the central and eastern part of the East Timorese capital caused one death and two disappearances according to the most recent information available, a balance that may still change, the prime minister said today.
“The latest information is about one dead man and two missing. But we will wait to have this information updated, ”Taur Matan Ruak told Lusa. The head of the Government – who was speaking to Lusa after participating in the national conference of Fretilin, the largest party in parliament and currently in opposition – said that an interministerial commission was created to monitor the situation.
Ongoing, he said, there are already acts of cleaning and repairing damage caused by the floods as well as supporting the affected families. "I want to express my condolences to the victims' families, and express solidarity with our population and ensure that we are making every effort to overcome the situation," he explained.
Asked about possible support to affected companies and families, Taur Matan Ruak said that "it is not easy with twelfths", the regime that the country has been experiencing since January after the lead to the proposal for the State Budget (OGE). "But it is an issue that we have to see," he explained.
A first report by the Timorese Civil Protection, to which Lusa had access, explains that the confirmed deceased is a 16-year-old from Becora, who drowned, without detailing information about the missing. The same text states that four injured people were taken to the National Hospital Guido Valadares.
The floods affected various parts of the city, especially the 'sucos' (equivalent to parishes) Becora, Bidau Moaklaran, Bairro Pité and Santa Cruz, with many affected houses and floods in various institutions. In addition to serious damage to the Portuguese School of Dili and to the School 05 de Maio, the floods caused serious flooding in the Presidency Palace, in the Ministry of Social Solidarity and in the Radio and Television building of Timor-Leste, among others.
Elements of Civil Protection, Dili Fire Department and various elements from other National Directorates, with emphasis on the National Directorate for Disaster Risk Management (DNGRD), were at the locations to provide support.
“The Secretariat of State for Civil Protection sought in every situation to reinforce and the means, but the situations were many and in many distant and difficult to access places, trying by all means to help the populations and support the recovery of their houses and property ”, says the document.
Also on Friday night, three venues were established to accommodate more than 200 people from almost 40 displaced families and today a meeting has already taken place with several national and international agencies, including the United Nations, to strengthen support.
The Civil Protection rescue teams continue to look for possible victims and Civil Protection teams are supporting the washing of the Palace of the President of the Republic, family houses, roads, paths and various facilities.
The private sector and the Chinese community in particular, in addition to private support, have made it possible to provide water, food and other goods. Among other aspects, the document states that the Ministry of Public Works is coordinating “the cleaning and unblocking of roads, mostly along the three large rivers that overflowed”.
“The streams are also in need of clearing work to normalize the beds and thus prevent future disasters from occurring in future rains”, he notes.
The report points to some coordination problems and cooperation with the ministerial lines that "need to be strengthened and improved", seeking to streamline procedures that "make emergency support and the subsequent task of recovering the areas affected by the disaster very difficult".
Among the problems are the lack of transport, fuel, communications, budget and equipment, which “makes data collection, emergency support actions and recovery activities difficult”.
The document asks for more resources for the Secretariat of State for Civil Protection so that, in the future, “it will be better prepared to respond to disasters of this type and to be able to minimize their effects” to make recovery and support to those affected faster and more effective. And he notes that the duodecimal budget is not enough to “cover expenses related to this disaster”.
"There is a need to allocate more budget to support victims in the contingency fund, because there is more and more disasters and more victims and to intensify the support of local authorities and ministerial lines", he considers.
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