At least 157 people have been killed in Indonesia and neighbouring East Timor with dozens more still missing after a tropical cyclone battered the Southeast Asian nations, leaving thousands homeless, authorities said Tuesday.
Indonesia's disaster management agency said it had recorded 130 deaths in a cluster of remote islands near East Timor, where another 27 have been officially listed as dead.
About 30,000 people have been impacted by floods in Indonesia, some already taking shelter in evacuation centres, but rescue operations have been made difficult after five bridges collapsed and falling trees blocked some roads, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said.
A continuing storm had also halted evacuations in some places, local authorities said.
Hundreds of houses and other facilities such as a solar power plant were damaged, BNPB said. Ships and motor boats sank as the cyclone set off waves as high as 6 metres.
Powerful currents continued to flow through villages in the Malaka district on Timor island on Monday, even though the rain had stopped.
Some residents there hauled themselves to their roofs to escape flood water rising to 3-4 metres.
"We had to dismantle the zinc roof. We went out through the back door and pulled ourselves out with a rope," Agustina Luruk, 36, told Reuters as she and her three daughters waited to be evacuated by the side of a muddy road.
President Joko Widodo offered his condolences and ordered speedy disaster relief efforts.
The Seroja cyclone hit the Savu sea southwest of Timor island in the early hours of Monday, Indonesia's weather agency said.
Within 24 hours, the cyclone's intensity could strengthen, bringing yet more rain, waves and winds, although it was moving away from Indonesia, the agency said.
Dwikorita Karnawati, the agency's head, said that the cyclone would be weakening in the next two days.