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Indonesia tsunami death toll rises

October 29, 2010

From The Guardian

Indonesia’s most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi, on the island of Java, has erupted, spewing out a cloud of ash and hot air and destroying homes Link to this video

Indonesia is dealing with three natural disasters after an earthquake, a tsunami and a volcanic eruption in the space of 24 hours.

Rescuers battled rough seas yesterday to reach remote islands hit by a 10ft tsunami that swept away homes, killing at least 113 people. Scores more were missing and casualties are expected to rise as information trickles in from the sparsely populated surfing destination.

The fault that ruptured on Monday off Sumatra island’s coast also caused the 2004 earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

Monday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit 48 miles west of South Pagai, in the Mentawai islands, and destroyed most of the buildings in the coastal village of Betu Monga, a Department of Fisheries official said.

Many panicked residents fled to high ground and were too afraid to return home. Hendri Dori, a local parliamentarian, said panic could account in part for the more than 500 people still missing. “We’re trying to stay hopeful,” he said.

Mujiharto, the head of the health ministry’s crisis centre, said 113 bodies had been recovered so far. The number of missing was between 150 and 500. “We have 200 body bags on the way, just in case,” he said.

From The Guardian

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