An association run by nuns of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit Congregation in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara province, yesterday distributed aid to victims of heavy rain and flooding. Sister Sisilia Anak Agung, head of the Woman and Child Care Forum, with colleagues and staff, distributed 300 boxes of meals, rice, instant noodles, milk and drinking water to 84 families staying in an evacuation center. “There should be a good contingency plan from all parties, because the floods hit this area every year,” she said. The nun said people affected by floods should be relocated, and the flood prone area should be converted into rice fields or agricultural land. Continuous rainfall damaged a 60-meter flood-control dam on Benenain River on March 26, forcing some 198 families to evacuate the inundated areas in Malaka Timur and Malaka Barat subdistricts. Six houses were inundated, but no casualties were reported. The victims are being accommodated in evacuation camps in Besikama, capital of Malaka Barat sub-district, and Lasaen village. Hironimus Rony Seran, coordinator of the district’s Union Society for Disaster Management, said the victims urgently need medicine, clean water and proper sanitary facilities. “Emergency logistics must be centralized in Betun (in Malaka Tengah sub-district) so that it can be reached faster,” he suggested. A victim, Yohanes Klau Bria, acknowledged that he was still traumatized from a similar disaster that hit the area in May 2000, killing around 200 people. “That is why we left our house, which has been damaged by the floods. We also lost our cattle and agricultural land. This is a loss, but what can we say?” he said. The district’s government, in cooperation with military personnel, has distributed a ton of rice and other emergency aid to evacuees. IS13967.1649
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