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High Waves Hit Indonesia

KUPANG, Indonesia, Feb 13, 2008 (AFP) - High waves that struck coastlines across Indonesia's eastern islands killed one and forced hundreds to flee their homes, an official said Wednesday. "A local tourist aged 16 was swept away yesterday (Tuesday) by waves as high as three metres (10 feet) while he was fishing on the beach," Lasarus, a local official from East Nusa Tenggara's disaster management centre, told AFP. He said that hundreds of houses along beaches in Sikka district and about 50 others on the nearby island of Alor were damaged by the high waves. Some 300 people were evacuated to emergency shelters, he added. The local meteorological bureau head, Albertus Kusbagio, told AFP that winds on Wednesday were moving at speeds of up to 70 kilometres (43 miles) per hour. They were whipping up six-metre-high waves lashing areas on Sumba, Flores and Alor islands in East Nusa Tenggara, he said. Kusbagio added that a low pressure system off Australia's north was contributing to the wild weather.
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