Natural disasters in Timor-Leste, including strong winds and fires, have left at least five dead, eleven injured and more than 900 homes destroyed since August, with the government preparing emergency support for hundreds of affected families.
The most recent assessment of the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, to which Lusa had access, shows that much of the destruction occurred in October, with two dead, two wounded, 714 houses and four public buildings (including a chapel).
The destruction occurred in 10 of Timor-Leste's 12 counties and still in the Oecusse Ambeno enclave, but the biggest impact, both in winds and photos, was in the municipality of Ermera where 490 homes were destroyed this month alone.
This balance shows that several juices (equivalent to parishes) in the Hatulia B (Ermera) area were the hardest hit, especially due to fires.
In detail on the incidents since August, the report confirms one killed by a fire on 24 October in Same Vila area and another due to fire in Fahisoi (Remexio) on 20 October.
Two people died from a strong wind in the Dukurai area (Letefoho, Ermera, south of Dili) on 9 September, one died in Hare (Bobonaro) due to a fire on 25 August.
The report notes that in addition to the chapel destroyed in Hatubulico (Ainaro), two schools in the Ermera area were destroyed and, of great significance to East Timorese society, a total of 13 'Uma Lisan' (Sacred Houses) in various parts of the municipality. from Baucau.
Fires also affected some of the country's most symbolic areas, including Mount Ramelau, the country's highest point and second highest of all Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Timorese government has already channeled support to hundreds of affected families, and an extraordinary reinforcement of the 2019 budget – worth US $ 5 million – is currently under consideration for additional support.
Civil Protection officials are currently studying with the United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste any additional emergency support, government sources confirmed.
Rajesh Pandav, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) explained to Lusa that the United Nations has already been available to provide any support that may be needed.
He also explained that last week, following a request from the Ministry of Health, teams from WHO and Timorese health authorities have already provided emergency assistance to populations in the worst affected areas of Ermera and Liquiçá, two of the worst affected municipalities.
. (tagsToTranslate) October