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Cyclone kills at least 97 in Indonesia

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Thousands of people are displaced, scores are dead, and many more are still unaccounted for -

after tropical cyclone Seroja triggered floods and landslides in a cluster of islands in southeast Indonesia and East Timor, officials said on Monday.

The cyclone hit the Savu sea in the early hours of Monday, setting off waves as high as 6 meters.

Authorities were racing to evacuate thousands who have been driven from their homes,

but collapsed bridges, falling trees and a continuing storm have hampered efforts in some places.

Powerful currents continued to flow through villages in the Malaka district on Timor island, forcing some residents to haul themselves to their roofs to escape flood water rising to 3-4 meters.

Augustina Luruk escaped with her children.

"Yes, our house is on the mountains, we had to dismantle the zinc roof. We went out through the back door and pulled ourselves out with a rope."

About 30,000 people have been impacted by floods in Indonesia, some taking shelter in evacuation centers.

President Joko Widodo offered his condolences and ordered speedy disaster relief efforts.

The cyclone’s intensity could strengthen over the next day, but disaster agency BNPB say it is moving away from Indonesia.

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