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Death toll after tsunami rises to 370, almost 400 still missing MEDAN - As aid workers arrive in the remote Indonesian islands of Mentawai, the latest death toll after the tsunami caused by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake has risen to at least 370 with almost 400 still missing, officials said Thursday.

The Regional Disaster Management Agency in West Sumatra on Thursday confirmed the number of deaths as of 7 p.m. local time. Among the survivors was an 18-month-old baby that was discovered by a 10-year-old boy in a clump of trees two days after the disaster struck on Pagai Selatan Island. Officials, however, realistically believe that few survivors will additionally be found.

"Of those missing people we think two-thirds of them are probably dead, either swept out to sea or buried in the sand," said Ade Edward, a disaster management official. One of the biggest challenges national and international aid agencies have been facing is reaching the remote Mentawai Islands in order to provide the urgent assistance and to identify further humanitarian needs caused by the tsunami.

Rescuers began to arrive at the islands on Wednesday, which were rattled by a massive 7.7-magnitude earthquake at 9.42 p.m. local time (1442 GMT) on Monday that generated the devastating tsunami. At least 10 villages were completely destroyed on the Mentawai Islands, located about 240 kilometers (149 miles) south of Padang, the capital and largest city of West Sumatra.

The initial earthquake struck about 20 kilometers (12.8 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake. Indonesia's seismological agency immediately issued a tsunami warning for nearby coastlines, but the warning came too late for villages on the Mentawai Islands where a three-meter (9.8-feet) tsunami devastated towns near the coast.

The affected population was initially estimated at 33,817 persons. However many islands have become inaccessible and the number of potentially affected people could be over 65,000.

On Thursday, the European Union announced that its Commission would be providing 1.5 million ($2 million) in humanitarian assistance to survivors of the tsunami in Mentawai and the volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi in Java.

On December 26, 2004, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded struck off the west coast of Sumatra. The 9.1-magnitude earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami, striking scores of countries. In all, at least 227,898 people were killed.


Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake') Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake'):
28 October 2010 · Tsunami death toll surpasses 300 as rescuers arrive
27 October 2010 · At least 113 dead after tsunami hits Mentawai Islands
26 October 2010 · Powerful earthquake, small tsunamis hit Sumatra
17 October 2010 · Strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake hits off Maluku island
12 October 2010 · Strong earthquake hits eastern Indonesia, no damage expected
30 September 2010 · No tsunami after 7.4 magnitude quake off Papua

Related blog entries (category 'Earthquake') Tags: tsunami, Mentawai Islands, dead


Posted in Earthquake @ 29 October 2010 06:41 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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