• Crisis Severity ?
    1.3
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    2.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    1.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    1.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 1,293,000 Total population [?]
  • 33,000 People affected [?]
  • 2,000 People displaced [?]

Overview

28/04/2021

Tropical Cyclone Seroja hit Indonesia and Timor-Leste on 4 April. From 29 March–4 April, torrential rains caused by the cyclone triggered flash floods and landslides in Timor-Leste, affecting all 13 municipalities in the country to varying degrees. The capital city, Dili, and the surrounding low-lying areas are among the worst affected, with large parts still under water.?

As at 21 April, 6,000 people were temporarily displaced within 30 evacuation facilities across the municipality of Dili, and 45 fatalities had been recorded across the country. ?4,600 houses were damaged or destroyed by the floods. There is also severe damage to critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, and medical centres. Damage to roads and bridges has impacted overland travel in and around affected areas, disrupting rescue attempts. Water, electricity, and internet supplies have been affected. Power disruptions are expected to persist in the country until at least early May.?

As well as the displaced populations hosted in evacuation centres, many people – mostly women and children – have potentially found refuge in informal evacuation sites, particularly in Tasi Tolu (Dili district). They likely require urgent humanitarian assistance. Tasi Tolu remained inaccessible until 12 April, and needs assessments are still ongoing. Authorities and aid organisations are still discovering the full extent of the impact of the floods in some regions because of travel complications caused by damaged roads and COVID-19 containment measures?

 

Latest Developments

27/05/2021

As of  21 May, 1,743 people are displaced within 13 evacuation facilities across the municipality of Dili. 3,350 houses were damaged or destroyed by the floods. Several health facilities were affected by the floods, causing loss of medicine, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. ?

KEY PRIORITIES

07/06/2021

Health and WASH: Evacuation centres lack safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and waste management capacities. This environment – coupled with a lack of available medicines – has resulted in an increased number of water-borne and vector-borne illnesses, acute respiratory infections, and skin diseases. COVID-19 testing and prevention measures must be at a sufficient level in returnee communities.

Education: While learning activities have continued in five evacuation centres, more support is needed to extend the activities to three additional centres. There is an immediate need to provide learning and WASH materials and safe drinking water to schools affected by the flooding. Access to certain schools outside of Dili is difficult because of damaged roads, and damaged schools require reconstruction and renovation assistance. Assessments are being conducted to inform long-term recovery and reconstruction needs.

Early recovery and Livelihoods: More than 1,600 hectares of rice and 295 hectares of other agricultural products were damaged by the floods in at least six municipalities. The most affected municipalities were Aileu, Bobonaro, Ermera, and Manatuto. Assessments are being conducted to inform long-term recovery and reconstruction needs, including a Household and Building Damage Assessment (HBDA), a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PNDA), and a Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM). ?

COVID-19 BOX

07/06/2021

Prior to the floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Seroja, Timor-Leste was in the grip of a new wave of COVID-19. The official number of cases had surged tenfold from just over 100 to almost 1,000 in March 2021. With the strict lockdown in Dili municipality temporarily suspended on 9 April because of the flood response, the risk of further spread of COVID-19 remains high. The National Health Laboratory, the Autonomous Service for Medicines and Health Equipment, the Timorese central pharmacy, and the medical supplies depot where COVAX vaccines are to be stored were affected by the floods, hampering COVID-19 containment efforts. There is an urgent need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in crowded evacuation centres, disseminate COVID-19 prevention information to evacuation centres and affected communities, and increase adherence to pandemic protocols. ?

INFORMATION GAPS

07/06/2021
  • There is a lack of gender and age-disaggregated data.
  • There is insufficient data regarding the situation before the cyclone; for example, there is no information on food insecurity.
  • There are data gaps regarding the number of school-aged children and teachers affected.
  • There is a lack of comprehensive data related to the effect agricultural damages have on livelihoods. ?