Indonesia tsunami kills 350
Updated: 2006-07-19 06:19
PANGANDARAN, Indonesia, July 18 - A tsunami that swept through fishing
villages and resorts on Indonesia's Java island killed 368 people and more than
200 others are missing, officials said on Tuesday.
More than 54,000 people have
been displaced, they said.
wheels his bicycle past the devastated area of Pangandaran, Indonesia July
18, 2006. [Reuters]|
There was no warning before the waves struck on Monday, despite efforts to
set up warning systems after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami left 230,000 dead or
missing, including 170,000 in Indonesia.
But many residents and tourists on the southern Java coast recognised the
signs and fled to higher ground as the sea receded before huge waves came
"When the waves came, I heard people screaming and then I heard something
like a plane about to crash nearby and I just ran," Uli Sutarli, a plantation
worker who was on hard-hit Pangandaran beach, told Reuters.
The waves washed cars, motorbikes and boats into hotels and storefronts,
flattened homes and restaurants, and flooded rice fields up to 500 metres (550
yards) from the sea along a stretch of the densely populated coastline.
An official at the welfare ministry's disaster management centre said the
death toll had climbed to 368 while 235 people were missing.
At least four non-Indonesians were among the dead. One was a Dutch national,
health department officer Yuyun Ruhiyat said. She had no information about the
Soldiers tried to retrieve bodies trapped under rubble on Tuesday. Metro TV
reported several bodies were found in trees along Pangandaran beach near Ciamis
town, 270 km (170 miles) southeast of Jakarta.
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Anxious survivors lifted yellow sheets covering dozens of bodies lining a
hospital floor as they searched for relatives in Pangandaran, which bore the
brunt of the damage.