Subject: LUSA: Heavy Rainfall Causes Damage Across Territory

East Timor: Heavy Rainfall Causes Damage Across Territory 21 Feb-20:59

More than 1,200 houses, schools and public buildings have been damaged in seven districts of East Timor, as a result of strong winds and heavy rainfall over the past week, the territory's UN transition administration (UNTAET) said on Wednesday.

One person, a child, died last week in the village of Leotila, Ainaro district, due to the bad weather.

Information gathered by the UNTAET emergency office indicates that most damage has occurred in the areas of Baucau and Ainaro and in the Oe Cusse enclave. Thousands of people are estimated to be affected by the adverse situation, with hundreds forced to leave their homes and seek high ground.

In the Baucau region at least 540 houses have been flooded and 12 destroyed. In Ainaro fallen trees have temporarily cut off the town's water supply. In Oe Cusse three bridges collapsed, although one has already been restored by Jordanian UN peacekeepers.

UNTAET has already sent about 1,700 blankets and plastic coverings to worst-hit areas, while the World Food Program has distributed seven tons of food aid.

Other assistance is also being channeled to hard-hit areas in the districts of Aileu and Manatuto.

JBC -Lusa

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