Three thousand people from 600 households have been evacuated to Salesian-running Centre Comoro, in the capital city, Dili, after floods and landslides caused by tropical cyclone Seroja. At least 715 boys and 800 girls, 625 women and 650 men, 180 elders, including 30 people with disability, are rescued and evacuated in the same place. Leli and her parents are one of them.
During the lockdown, Leli was staying at home while attending online school. However, she cannot attend school due to the loss and damage of the school material she had earlier. “I didn’t attend online class because my dad has no laptop with him. He just said that, after going back home, I will continue attending class.” Explained Leli.
A 34-year-old, Jinha, Leli’s mother, during her conversation with World Vision, said: “We have no place to go now. My house has been destroyed due to flooding as I lost almost everything. We only brought a few clothes with us, nothing more.” Ana has ten family members living with her, including her two children, siblings and parents-in-law.
“Yesterday, my husband and I visited our house. I was shocked and cried because we had nothing left. The water took everything out. Doors and windows were pulled out, and the wall was not strong enough to hold the house. I saw some kids’ stuff such as school kits, kitchen stuff, toiletries were covered in the mud. I took out some stuff to clean, but we have no clean water to flush.” Sadly, Jinha shared.
Even as floodwaters were receding, Jinha’s house was still full of mud and covered with dust around the house. As the house condition is worst, Jinha hopes the priests and nuns will still allow them to live in the evacuation centre until they are recovered from the damages.
“We offer regular foods to the victims every day. At least we provide a safe place for them to leave until they decide to return home. We almost run out of food stocks. However, there is a lot of support coming from youth solidarity groups, private sectors, INGO, government institutions and communities that will help these vulnerable people. The supports included foods, toilet facilities, dignity kits, hygiene kits, water tanks and so on.” Said father Marchal, 65 years old.
We will continue to support the victims to provide them with meals, games for children and prayer until the situations remain normal.
As of today, the government, through the Secretary of State for Civil Protection report, updated 4,590 affected families and 12,378 displaced people in the floods that inundated Timor-Leste a week ago, which identified 36 dead and ten are missing. Also, 41 evacuation centres have been identified, which provide space for the victims in Dili.