Toll in Asian tsunami disaster tops 295,000
JAKARTA - The number of people believed killed in December's tsunami disaster topped 295,000, six weeks after the catastrophe, as Indonesia again increased its number of dead.
Indonesia was hardest-hit by the December 26 quake and tsunamis, with a total of 242,347 people listed as dead or missing, the health ministry said in its latest figures.
Thailand's toll remained at 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 Centre 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 neighbouring India, the official death toll was 10,749 with 5,640 still reported missing and feared dead.
The government was soon expected to draw up final casualty figures in which the missing were declared dead.
Myanmar has said 61 people were killed in the tsunamis.
At least 82 people were killed and another 26 were missing in the Maldives.
Sixty-eight people were dead in Malaysia, most of them in Penang, according to police, while Bangladesh reported two deaths.
On the east coast of Africa, 298 people were declared dead in Somalia, 10 in Tanzania and one in Kenya. Relief workers have said they believe the figure for Somali fatalities to be exaggerated.
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.
In addition, 3,071 people are listed as missing in Thailand and 5,637 in Sri Lanka but not included in the toll because of possible double counting.