84 killed in Indonesian quake

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

JAKARTA - At least 84 people were killed and 502 were missing a day after a powerful earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Mentawai islands, triggering a tsunami, officials said Tuesday.

The tsunami hit the islands in West Sumatra after the 7.2 magnitude quake, an official at Disaster and Mitigation Management Agency told Xinhua by phone.

“The latest death toll now climbs to 84 people, while 502 others go missing,” local legislator Hendri Dori Satoko said.

The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency admitted that a small tsunami occurred five minutes after the quake at 21.42 p.m. Monday (1442 GMT), although it lifted the warning about half an hour later.

The height of the waters reached three metres in Silabu village at a Mentawai island, head of crisis centre of health ministry named only Mujiharjo told Xinhua by phone.

Mujiharjo said that 12 doctors from Padang, the capital of West Sumatra, would leave for the island.

Many houses at the island have been levelled, the official said.

A tourist boat carrying eight Australian citizens and five crew has lost contact, he said.

West Sumatra was hit by a powerful quake of 7.9 magnitude in September 2009, which killed more than 1,000 people.

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