Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 5 News List

Tsunami deaths reach 286,000, and still increasing


The number of people presumed dead in last month's Asian tsunamis rose to more than 286,000 yesterday, with Indonesian authorities announcing a further increase in the number of dead and missing.

Indonesia was hardest-hit by the Dec. 26 quake and tsunamis, with a total 232,945 people listed as dead or missing, the health ministry said.

Thailand's toll edged up slightly to 5,393 confirmed dead. A further 3,071 people were listed as missing, more than 1,000 of them foreigners.

The toll in Sri Lanka, which was second hardest hit by the catastrophe, stood at 30,957, according to the Center for National Operations.

The number of people listed as missing was 5,637, but many were expected to be among those never formally identified, hurriedly buried and included in the confirmed death toll.

In India, the official death toll has reached 10,744 with 5,669 still reported missing and feared dead.

Myanmar has said 61 people were killed in the tsunamis, against an estimated 90 deaths according to the UN.

Sixty-eight people were dead in Malaysia, most of them in Penang, according to police, while Bangladesh reported two deaths.

Fatalities also occurred on the east coast of Africa where 298 people were declared dead in Somalia, 10 in Tanzania and one in Kenya.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra measured 9 on the Richter scale, making it the largest quake worldwide in four decades.

Asian death tolls

* Indonesia: 232,945

*Sri Lanka: 30,957

* India: 16,413

* Thailand: 5,393

* Maldives: 82

* Malaysia: 68

* Myanmar: 61

* Bangladesh: 2

Source: AFP

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