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Cyclone kills nearly 180, as aid pours into Indonesia, East Timor April 08,2021   |  Source: AFP

The death toll from the tropical cyclone Seroja has risen to nearly 180 people in islands stretching from Indonesia to neighboring East Timor, as rescue efforts for those trapped from flash floods and landslides continued and two Indonesian navy ships packed with aid arrived Thursday in the archipelago.

The vessels docked in hard-hit Lembata and Adonara island with hospital ships also en route to the ravaged cluster of islands in eastern Indonesia where thousands have been left homeless and dozens are still missing.

Torrential rains from Seroja, one of the most destructive storms to hit the region in years, turned small communities into wastelands of mud and uprooted trees, sending thousands fleeing to shelters amid widespread power blackouts.

The storm on Sunday swept buildings in some villages down a mountainside and to the shore of the ocean on Lembata, where one of the aid ships arrived Thursday.

The navy vessels are packed with food, including rice and noodles, as well as blankets and other materials for some of the region's more than 20,000 evacuees.

"The two navy ships arrived today," said Kompiang Aribawa, a regional naval base chief. "Another ship will arrive later today carrying military personnel who will be deployed to help people in the aftermath of


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