Sunday, December 26, 2004


Monday December 27, 8:34 AM

Aceh quake, tsunami death toll tops 12,000
(Kyodo) _ The death toll from the massive 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia's Aceh on Sunday morning and subsequent tsunamis across the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean that hit India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and the Maldives had topped 12,300 by early Monday, official and media reports said.
In Sri Lanka, reports trickling in from areas under the control of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have raised the death toll from a massive tsunami that hit the island country to 4,500, the news agency Reuters said.
Reports added government officials fear 22 Japanese tourists may have died when the tsunami struck Yala National Park in Sri Lanka's southeast.
Up to 1 million more people in the island country have been affected by the tidal waves and flooding.
In India, 3,000 people are said killed in southern Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states and another 1,000 are believed dead in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Indian possessions off the coasts of Thailand and Myanmar.
In Indonesia, at least 4,400 people are believed dead, including more than 1,000 in the Aceh provincial capital Banda Aceh that died from earthquake damage and the later tsunamis.
In Thailand, where tsunami struck the popular tourist resort islands of Phuket and Pipi and many others parts of the country's south, 390 people are believed dead, including 130 on Phuket alone.
In Malaysia's northern Penang and Kedah states, 42 people have been killed and the deputy prime minister said more are missing.
The Maldives, a country of low-lying islands that rise barely a meter above sea level, reported at least 28 people killed there when the tsunamis rolled over the capital island Male and several other tiny islands and atolls popular with tourists.
Reports from Myanmar have not yet given death tolls, but it is known the country was hit by the tidal waves and earthquake damage has been reported from Myanmar as well.
The tsunami killed at least two people in Bangladesh and traveled as far as Africa, where eight people were reported by the U.S. Geological Survey killed in Somalia.
The 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the sea just off Aceh was the biggest since a 9.2 magnitude quake struck Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1964. The Aceh temblor is also the fourth biggest recorded since 1900.

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