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Hospital ships move to the cyclone affected areas in Indonesia to treat the injured

Ships of the Indonesian Navy with make shift hospital arrangements have arrived in the Indonesian archipelago and neighboring East-Taimur to help treat the survivors of the cyclone that hit the area earlier this week killing over 150 persons and uprooting over ten thousand families.

The hospital ships were due to leave Jakarta and Semarang, a city east of Indonesia's capital, bound for the disaster-struck region, spokesman for the Indonesian disaster agency was quoted by international media reports. Indonesia's navy readied hospital ships to help treat injured survivors of the cyclone.

Helicopters were also dropping food and other essentials

Helicopters were also dropping food and other essentials into remote villages, as rescuers turned to sniffer dogs in the hunt for dozens still missing after weekend floods and landslides devastated the Southeast Asian nations.

Torrential rains from Tropical Cyclone Seroja, one of the most destructive storms to hit the region in years, turned small communities into wastelands of mud, uprooted trees and sent around 10,000 people fleeing to shelters.

Sniffer dogs to find bodies of missing victims

The storm swept buildings in some villages down a mountainside and to the shore of the ocean on Indonesia's Lembata island, where several small communities have been wiped off the map. Indonesia's disaster agency said sniffer dogs would hunt through mountains of debris and rubble in the hopes of finding the bodies of some 76 still-missing victims -- and any survivors.

About 120 people have been declared as dead in a remote cluster of islands at the eastern end of the archipelago. Another 34 people have been killed in East Timor – the island nation of 1.3 million population sandwiched between Indonesia and Australia.

Rescuers have spent the past few days using diggers and shovels to extract mud-covered corpses from the debris. Hospitals, bridges and thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm, which flattened scores of small villages.

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