Tsunami death toll in Indonesia nears 450

Food aid: Residents of North Polaga Island in Mentawai Islands off West Sumatra collect food aid airlifted by the Army on Saturday. The island is only accessible by helicopter. -- JP/R. Berto Wedhatama


October 31,2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — The death toll from Monday’s tsunami that devastated the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra has reached 449 as of 12:24 local time on Sunday, an official said

“The number of dead victims has soared from 413 to 449 on Sunday,” Head of Disaster Affairs Division at the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Ade Edwar said on Sunday.

He added that rescue workers were still searching for 96 people.
Data from the Mentawai earthquake and tsunami information services at the Sikakap Selatan subdistrict administration in the Mentawai Islands show 270 people were severely injured and 142 others lightly.

A total of 517 houses were destroyed and carried away by the tsunami, while 204 others had minor damage, according to the data.

Those injured in the disaster are being treated at emergency clinics at the public health service post and a church in the subdistrict.

A tsunami survivor receives medical treatment from Indonesian soldier inside a church in Sikakap, Mentawai island, Indonesia Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Local military commander Col. Mulyono, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that today, his teams along with teams from the Indonesia Red Cross and other organizations, had reached almost all of the 24-tsunami-affected hamlets using seven helicopters.

“Starting from today [Sunday], we plan to drop logistics together with medical teams to those hamlets every day,” he said.

A tsunami killer wave triggered by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the islands off the western coast of Sumatra on Monday.

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