Indonesian tsunami death toll tops 400

Dozens of injured survivors of a tsunami off western Indonesia today languished at a sorely strapped hospital alongside a newly orphaned 2-month-old baby found in a storm drain, as the death toll from the disaster rose above 400.

The injured lay on mats or the bare floor as rainwater dripped onto them from holes in the ceiling and intravenous cords hung from plastic ropes strung from the rafters. The baby, its lungs filled with fluid and with cuts on its face, blinked sleepily in a humidified crib.



"We need doctors, specialists," nurse Anputra said at the tiny hospital in Pagai Utara — one of the four main islands in the Mentawai chain slammed by Monday's tsunami.



The toll from the tsunami and the 7.7-magnitude earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean that spawned it rose to 408 today as officials found more bodies, and 303 people were still missing, said Agus Prayitno, of the West Sumatra provincial disaster management center. Rescue teams "believe many, many of the bodies were swept to sea," said Harmensyah, the disaster center's chief.



Along with the 33 people killed by a volcano that erupted Tuesday more than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to the east in central Java, the number of dead from Indonesia's twin disasters this week has now reached 441.



After a lull that allowed mourners to hold a mass burial for victims, Mount Merapi started rumbling again Thursday with three small eruptions and three others early Friday — easing pressure and possibly making another big eruption less likely. There were no reports of new injuries or damage.



The catastrophes struck within 24 hours in different parts of the seismically active country, severely testing Indonesia's emergency response network.



Aid workers trickling into the remote region found giant chunks of coral and rocks in places where homes once stood. Huge swaths of land were submerged. Swollen corpses dotted roads and beaches.



At the hospital on Pagai Utara, 35-year-old Sarifinus cradled his 5-year-old, Dimas, who screamed as medical staff tended to his broken arm.



The man described how, when the towering wall of water came, he grabbed his two other young sons and ran toward the mountain. The wave tore both from his arms and sucked them away.



Sarifinus and his wife, Martina, who sat staring blankly in a corner of the hospital, found Dimas alive after the waters receded.



One of the hardest hit areas with 65 dead was the village of Pro Rogat, on Pagai Seatandug island.



Villagers there huddled under tarps in the rain and told how many people who had fled to the hills were now too afraid to return home.



Mud and palm fronds covered the body of the village's 60-year-old pastor, Simorangkir. He lay on the ground, partially zipped into a body bag. Police and relatives took turns pushing a shovel into the sodden dirt next to him for his grave.



His 28-year-old grandson, Rio, traveled by boat to Pro Rogat from his home on a nearby island to check on his relatives after the quake and tsunami. He said he was picking through the wreckage when someone cried out that he had found a body.



Rio walked over and saw the face of his dead grandfather, partially buried under several toppled palm trees, looking back at him.



"Everybody here is so sad," Rio said, as relatives prepared to lay his grandfather in the grave.



At the Mount Merapi volcano, hot clouds of ash spewed from the mountain at 6:10 a.m., 8:40 a.m. and 11:19 Friday, according to Subandriyo, a senior government volcanologist.



The activity appeared to be easing pressure behind a lava dome that has formed in the crater, said Safari Dwiyono, a scientist who has been monitoring Merapi for 15 years.



"If the energy continues to release little by little like this, it reduces the chances of having a bigger, powerful eruption," he said.



Residents from Kinahrejo, Ngrangkah, and Kaliadem — villages that were devastated in Tuesday's blast — crammed into refugee camps. Officials brought cows, buffalo and goats down the mountain so that villagers wouldn't try to go home to check on their livestock.



Thousands attended a mass burial for 26 of the victims six miles (10 kilometers) from the base of the volcano. Family and friends wept and hugged one another as the bodies were lowered into the grave in rows.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Life and Style
Customers look at the new iPhones on display at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iphone 6 plus at the Apple IFC store in Hong Kong
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Part Time Primary Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Part Time Primary TeacherOur...

Science Technician

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:School Science Technici...

School Administrator

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Long term SIMS School Administr...

Nursery assistants required across Cambridgeshire

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week