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. Presumed Death Toll In Asian Tsunamis Passes 283,000

Volunteers carry a body after digging out it from the rubble of collapsed houses in Banda Aceh, 26 January 2005. Exactly one month after the tsunami devastated the region, people in Aceh province are still struggling to gain back their normal lives, as the Asian-wide toll of presumed dead from the disaster exceeded 280,000. AFP Photo by Jewel Samad
Jakarta, Indonesia (AFP) Jan 27, 2005
The number of people presumed dead in last month's Asian tsunamis rose to more than 283,000 Thursday, with Indonesian authorities announcing a further increase in the number of dead and missing.

Indonesia was hardest-hit by the December 26 quake and tsunamis, with a total 230,261 people listed as dead or missing, the health ministry said.

Thailand's toll edged up slightly to 5,390 confirmed dead. A further 3,000 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 has reached 10,744 with 5,669 still reported missing and feared dead.

Myanmar has said 61 people were killed in the tsunamis, against an estimated 90 deaths according to the United Nations. 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.

Fatalities also occurred on the east coast of Africa where 298 people were declared dead in Somalia, 10 in Tanzania and one in Kenya.

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.

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Sinking Coastlines May Precede Large Subduction Zone Quakes
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jan 26, 2005
Some massive earthquakes like the one that generated the recent tsunami in South Asia are preceded by slight sinking along nearby coastlines two to five years before the rupture, according to a new study by scientists from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.
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