East Nusa Tenggara : Five Killed, Island Isolated
February 18, 2008, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Storm

 Five people were killed after being washed out to sea and hundreds of families were cut off after heavy storms lashed Indonesia, officials said Saturday.

More than 500 homes were also destroyed as the country was battered by a fourth day of stormy weather, Frans Salen, an official in East Nusa Tenggara province, where the deaths occurred, told reporters.

He added that all districts in the eastern province, which consists of more than 500 islands, had been hit.

High waves struck coastlines across the islands and forced hundreds to flee their homes to stay in emergency shelters since Wednesday.

Bad weather had hit all inter-island transport, hampering distribution of food and supplies to the islands of Rote and Sabu and some remote villages in West Timor island.

“There are enough stock of rice for the islands but only two days worth of fuel… the local electricity company turns off the power during the day to save fuel,” said Salen.

A local AFP correspondent in the provincial capital Kupang said heavy rains and strong winds continued to batter the area on Saturday.

Meteorologists said a low pressure system off northern Australia was contributing to the stormy weather. (*)

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