Tsunami deaths could top 500

2010-10-28 11:42

The death toll from a tsunami which struck western Indonesia this week is likely to pass 500, an official said today as hopes faded for many of the 338 listed as missing.

The official death count stood at 343 but disaster management official Ade Edward said the toll would rise, possibly by as much as 200.

“Of those missing people we think two-thirds of them are probably dead, either swept out to sea or buried in the sand,” he said.

“When we flew over the area yesterday we saw many bodies. Heads and legs were sticking out of the sand, some of them were in the trees.

If we add another 200 to the toll it would be at least 543 dead.”

The tsunami roared through the remote Mentawai islands off Sumatra after a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake on Monday, wiping out entire villages.?

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