Timor Leste, Indonesia, 6 April 2021 -- A flash flood caused by the torrential rains crippled on the Easter Sunday (April 5) in the early morning hours (3- 5 AM) around the capital city of Dili as well as some nearby islands in Eastern Indonesia (NTT), including the island of Flores and Western part of Timor Island (Indonesia). As of now some 100 victims of landslides and houses have been reported buried under mud, kilometers of destroyed road and thousands of displaced people. In the RDTL capital of Dili the water in the rivers have risen as much as 2-4 meters above the ordinary level.
Although the main rains stopped on Monday (April 6), the water level was still high and the rescue works are ongoing to discover missing people and restore the basic roads and streets in the affected area.
The Salesians of Don Bosco (Viceprovince of Saint Callisto Caravario, Timor Leste: TLS) with headquarters in Dili-Comoro, one of the centers of this natural disaster, are now sheltering in the Comoro Don Bosco compound together with some 3000 people who fled from their homes due to this calamity. Some blankets, food and basic medicines were distributed and also the Archbishop of Dili, Virglio da Silva, SDB was present with his words of consolation among the flood refugees. At the same time the whole Salesian family, with the Comoro FMA communities, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and Don Bosco Past Pupils extend their hands to the victims.
At present the TLS viceprovince has 11 canonical communities in the RDTL (Republic Democratic of Timor Leste), with 3 of them located precisely in the capital of Dili - Comoro district, with the parish of Mary Help of Christians, Don Bosco Technical Center (TVET), large oratory and Postnovitiate community with the Philosophy study center. Also the Provincial house is located in Dili-Comoro venue.
On the other hand the Salesians of Don Bosco are not yet present in the Eastern Indonesian provinces affected by the flash floods, especially in Flores Island. The only presence is our Don Bosco community of Sumba, apparently without any major damage.