January 10, 2024 – More than 100 people, predominantly children and youth under 16, have been displaced in the capital city of Dili following intense rainfall, the East Timorese Civil Protection Authority announced today.

The heavy rains, which were accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, caused numerous floods in roads and buildings and led to tree falls across the city. As a result, 129 individuals have been temporarily sheltered at the Civil Protection Authority facilities, where they are receiving medical and food assistance.

The displaced residents were primarily from the neighborhoods of Caicoli, Mascarenhas, and Fatudahada. Significant damage has also been reported to public infrastructure, including the Ministry of Health, the police headquarters, the Radio and Television of East Timor, and the civil protection facilities themselves.

Nationwide, there have been incidents of tree falls, road flooding, and damage to some homes, the Civil Protection Authority reported. They continue to assess the full extent of the damage.

Authorities are urging people, especially those near rivers, slopes, and mountains, to seek shelter and protect themselves in case of prolonged rainfall. This warning comes in the wake of a tropical cyclone in April 2021, which resulted in dozens of deaths, over 25,000 families displaced, and damages exceeding 200 million dollars.