Tsunami toll tops 76,000

The confirmed toll resulting from the massive earthquake and tidal waves that devastated Indian Ocean shorelines over the weekend has exceeded 76,000, amid warnings it is likely to rise higher.

    Officials have warned the toll may still rise significantly

    An Indonesian official from the social affairs ministry said on Wednesday the country's toll had risen to 45,000. The populous nation took the full force of Sunday's huge earthquake and tidal waves that swallowed entire coastal villages.

     

    In Sri Lanka, 17,800 people, were killed by the tidal waves. The toll in India has crossed 9000 with many thousands still missing, officials said.

     

    Its numbers include 4000 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, close to the epicentre of the Indonesian earthquake that produced the tsunami, and another 4500 in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

     

    More than 1500 people, among them more than 700 foreign tourists, were killed in southern Thailand, officials said. Some 1500 people are still missing there.

     

    In Myanmar, at least 90 people were killed, according to the UN, while 65 people were dead in Malaysia, officials said.

     

    At least 55 people were killed in the tourist paradise of the Maldives while another 69 were missing, officials said.

     

    Fatalities also occurred on the east coast of Africa where 100 fishermen 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 9.0 on the Richter scale - making it the largest quake worldwide in four decades.

    SOURCE: AFP


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