Major Earthquake, Massive Death Toll

The death toll in Indonesia rose to 4,448 on Monday, December 27, a day after a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake crashed into the island. The health ministry raised the Indonesian death toll overnight as many bodies have been reportedly found on beaches and swept into trees by the force of the raging water.

Many of the dead were children and elderly who drowned in waters churning with huge rocks, trees and the remains of homes uprooted by waves. Residents of restive Aceh province, which bore the brunt of the devastation, said a fresh tremor was felt on the northern tip of Sumatra Island in the early hours of Monday, but no fresh damage was reported.

Authorities still tried to rush aid to the hardest hit areas, including provincial capital Banda Aceh where as many as 3,000 people have been killed. Military officials said they feared the toll could rise significantly.

The epicenter of Sunday's huge quake, the world's fifth biggest since 1900, was off the southern coast of the island.

A wall of water up to 10 meters (30 feet) high triggered by Sunday's quake swept into Indonesia, over the coast of Sri Lanka and India and along the southern Thai tourist island of Phuket killing more than 12,600 people.


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