Mentawai death toll revised to 445

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 11/07/2010 9:34 AM | Headlines

The death toll from the Mentawai earthquake and tsunami is officially 445 as of Saturday, the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) said.

“The BPBD reported that 445 people died, 58 people were still missing, 173 people sustained heavy injuries, 325 people sustained light injuries and 15,353 successfully evacuated during the Mentawai tsunami,”  Andi Arief, the special presidential aide for disaster management, was reported as saying by news portal detik.com.

An earthquake triggered tsunami, with waves reaching 10-feet high, hit the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra on Oct. 25.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, accompanied by First Lady Kristiani Herawati and several ministers, visited Mentawai three days after the disaster struck to ensure that victims received relief aid.

Betumonga village in North Pagai district sustained the highest death toll, with 114 and 121 deaths in the hamlets of Muntie and Sabeugunggung respectively, the BPBD said.

With 58 deaths, the hamlets of Balerak Sok and Taparaboat in the village of Malakopa sustained high casualties as well, news portal kompas.com reported.

The remaining casualties were from the villages of Bosua and Beriuleu in South Sipora district, Bulasat in South Pagai, Silabu in North Pagai and Taikako in Sikakap district.

The Head of the West Sumatra Disaster Management Operation Control previously claimed the death toll was lower than earlier numbers because several people, who had been listed as dead, were found alive.

Two weeks ago, 449 people were reported as dead, four more than the latest figures.

Despite the gravity of the disaster and ensuing chaos of the relief efforts, West Sumatra Governor
Irwan Prayitno still had time for an overseas trip without the President’s consent, which incited
a harsh response from State Secretary Sudi Silalahi, ministers and legislators.

“Give me a week to study the matter first,” Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said Saturday in reference to possible sanctions against Irwan. (gzl)


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