Sat, Jan 01, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Death toll from tsunamis surpasses six-figure mark

AFP , JAKARTA

The confirmed death toll in the massive earthquake and tidal waves that slammed Indian Ocean shorelines last weekend passed 125,000 yesterday amid warnings that it could jump much higher.

Indonesia has borne the brunt of last Sunday's catastrophe, with a health ministry official putting the country's toll at 79,940 with entire coastal villages disappearing under the wall of water. But this could go up substantially.

Health ministry spokeswoman Marian Reksoprojo, quoting the country's health minister, said the death toll was expected to increase in and around the worst-hit province of Aceh on Sumatra island.

"The minister said that the number of dead victims in Aceh and North Sumatra could reach 100,000," Reksoprojo said.

In Sri Lanka 28,475 were confirmed killed by the tidal waves, while 4,872 people were still missing, the president's office said. More than 12,000 people were injured.

The death toll in India hit 11,736 with many thousands still missing, according to the home ministry.

In southern Thailand 4,510 people were killed, including 2,230 foreigners, official data showed.

In the worst-hit province of Phang Nga almost 3,700 people were confirmed killed, of whom more than 2,000 foreigners, the provincial governor said.

The interior ministry said late Thursday that 6,121 were missing nationwide. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said 80 percent of the missing are presumed dead.

In Myanmar at least 90 people were killed, according to the UN, but the real toll was expected to be far higher.

At least 75 people were killed and another 42 were confirmed missing in the tourist paradise of the Maldives, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said.

Sixty-six people were dead in Malaysia, most of them in Penang, police said.

In Bangladesh a father and child were killed after a tourist boat capsized in large waves, officials said.

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