Tsunami toll rises in Java

The toll from the Indonesian tsunami has risen to 668 as reports of fatalities come in from remote villages.

    Nearly 75,000 people have been forced from their homes

    The government confirmed on Saturday that another 287 people are missing and 74,100 have been displaced along Java's southern coast.

    Drajat Santosa, an official from the disaster management co-ordinating board, said about a hundred bodies had been found over the last 72 hours in parts of Ciamis district.

    Among the dead are five foreigners. A French national is also missing, he said.

    A magnitude 7.7 earthquake triggered the tsunami on Monday, which hit a 300-km stretch of coastline, destroying houses, restaurants and hotels.

    Fears of disease in the areas hit are growing as thousands of people continue to camp out in the heat with no clean water five days after the disaster.

    Some are still there because they have lost their homes, while many fear being caught in another tsunami if they go back.

    "The risk of catching diseases is there because they live in an open area with limited tents and water," said Rustam Pakaya, head of the health ministry's crisis centre.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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