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Indonesia fears five-fold rise in death toll JAKARTA - It now seems clear that nearly 27,000 people have died in the tsunami waves that hit coastlines in South and South East Asia on Sunday morning. The tsunami waves were triggered off by a massive earthquake off the coast of Indonesia. Nearly 7000 people have died in India alone. Officials say the quake measured higher than they had first estimated at a huge 9 on the Richter Scale.

Rising casualties

Indonesia's Vice President Yusuf Kalla has said that he thinks up to 25,000 people may have died in the earthquake and flooding that ravaged the country's Sumatra Island. Although Kalla said he had no confirmed data, he did think more than 20,000 were dead. The government has so far confirmed the deaths of around 5,000 people as a result of Sunday's quake and the tsunamis it triggered.
Most of the deaths have been in Aceh province, on the northern tip of Sumatra Island. But large parts of the province, especially towns on its western coast that were facing the epicenter of the undersea quake, have yet to be visited by either reporters or rescue teams.

Epicentre of quake

Indonesia, which was the epicenter of Sunday's devastating quake, has seen enormous destruction. Most tourists are now desperate to get out of the country. "I am deeply concerned about what has happened. I have asked the United Nations to immediately coordinate aid, medicine, food and other emergency matters," said Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President, Indonesia. Communication lines are still down in most parts of the country and thousands have fled their homes after the quake.

Millions displaced

Sri Lanka is also among the worst hit countries. Over 13,000 people are confirmed dead in the island nation and that number could rise further. In addition, almost 5,00,000 people are now displaced from their homes. Sri Lanka's former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe termed it as the worst disaster in the country's modern history.
About 20,000 soldiers have been deployed across the country to assist police in rescue efforts and to maintain law and order. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has appealed for doctors all over the world to come forward to help the victims of the tragedy. She admitted that the island state had not been well equipped to meet such disasters.

Evacuation continues

Meanwhile, Thailand evacuated injured survivors of the tsunami from its southern tourist beaches on Monday. Officials said that the national death toll was expected to top 2,000 after some 1,000 bodies were spotted on a popular beach north of Phuket. Prime Minster Thaksin Shinawatra estimated the cost of the damage at 20 billion baht ($512.2 million) and said the government would seek additional funds from Parliament.
He said rescue workers have started using heavy equipment to retrieve bodies from the affected areas, many of which were hidden under building debris. Of the other affected areas, over 50 people have died in Malaysia and 30 have perished in Myanmar. The tsunamis have claimed over 50 victims in Maldives, but hundreds are still missing.



Posted in Earthquake @ 28 December 2004 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

indahnesia.com lists all earthquakes that occur in Indonesia. For your convenience we display them in a list and a Google Map. It is as accurate and recent as you can imagine as we check for updates every few minutes. If an earthquake occurs in Indonesia, this is the place to check it out in the first place.






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