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2/17/2008

Six dead in typhoon and landslide

Indonesian Archipelago
Typhoon Nicholas has ravaged East Nusa Tenggara the past few days, killing two residents of Kupang and one resident of West Sumba, and destroying hundreds of houses and public facilities in the region. The three victims drowned after being dragged out to sea by heavy waves Wednesday. Friday people panicked and rushed from their homes as the typhoon swept through the area. "Some 300 people who had their homes damaged are still staying in makeshift tents and public facilities." The storm blowing 70 kilometers per hour also damaged hundreds of homes in Rote Ndao and Ende regencies. Heavy rains triggered flash flooding in Ende, Flores Island, submerging hundreds of homes and demolishing four bridges. Some 200 Ende residents were still living in tents. Head of the Kupang Meteorology and Geophysics Agency warned fishermen and inter-island ferries of high tides caused by the typhoon, saying all water activities should be halted until the strong winds ceased. "Tidal waves could occur in all waters of the province. This situation is very dangerous for any marine activities, and that's why we are encouraging people to stay put until the bad weather is over." In Kudus, Central Java, a mother and her child were killed in a landslide early Friday morning. A mass of earth from a cliff on Mount Muria fell onto homes. Local residents said rains had been incessant the past several days, and a number of minor slides had occurred. A large section of the mountain slope in the area is bare of trees because residents had converted the forests into farmland. The condition of the slope on Mount Muria is nearly the same as that of Tawangmangu, in Karanganyar, where a landslide in December last year killed 64 people. Rains have fallen on the north coast of Java from Kendal to Pati since the first week of February. Floods have swamped hundreds of hectares of rice crops in Kudus, Jepara and Pati. Hundreds of homes were also ravaged by floods, mostly due to overflowing rivers.
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