16 Jul 2015

Aid coming to hail struck Papua region

3:00 pm on 16 July 2015

Aid is on its way to three isolated districts in Indonesia's Papua region after a freak hailstorm and freezing temperatures killed 11 people, and severely damaged farmland.

Hail continuously fell over a number of days in Lanny Jaya regency earlier this month, with the temperature dropping to minus 2 degrees.

The regional administration secretary, Christian Siholait, told the Jakarta Post that it was the first time many locals had experienced such low temperatures.

He says most were not prepared for the extreme weather, and they are now vulnerable to disease, with many suffering from diarrhea.

Mr Siholait says they are also facing a food crisis after the hail severely damaged farmland and killed a large number of livestock.

At least 1,200 families live in the isolated region which can only be reached by small aircraft or by walking for two days from the regency's capital city of Tiom.

Local authorities are sending medical assistance and food supplies to the three districts by chartered aircraft.