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East Timor floods kill UN worker

A UN worker was killed on Wednesday in floods caused by freak weather in East Timor, the United Nations said.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2003 11:35 IST

A UN worker was killed on Wednesday in floods caused by freak weather in East Timor, the United Nations said.

As the rains began to subside, the U.N. warned of food shortages after the floods that hit the country's west destroyed crops and livestock and contaminated well water.

A United Nations Development Program worker was the second person killed since the heavy rains began Monday, the U.N. office in the capital Dili said in a statement. Two other people have been reported missing.

U.N. peacekeepers helped evacuate more than 200 people from the town of Suai who were expected to be able to return to their homes soon, the statement said.

The amount of rain that fell in Suai on Tuesday was equal to the average monthly rainfall, the U.N. said earlier.

Cabinet members led by Acting Prime Minister Ana Pessoa met with U.N. officials for an emergency meeting Wednesday. A drought earlier in the year had already put strain on the country's food supply and the flood damage had compounded the problem with some villages losing all of their crops, the U.N. said. Before the floods, the U.N. had said the country would need 14,000 tons of food aid to keep people fed between October and next March.

Nearly 150 died in floods in West and East Timor in May 2000, which forced 20,000 people to flee their homes.

First Published: Jun 19, 2003 11:35 IST