Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs to 550

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs to 550 1PANGANDARAN, Indonesia – An aftershock in Indonesia’s tsunami-ravaged region and a new tremor off the southwestern Java coast sowed fear on Wednesday as the toll from Monday’s disaster climbed to 550.

Rescuers pulled bodies from the debris and aid trickled into worst-hit Pangandaran town while a search continued for about 275 people still missing after the tsunami smashed into a 185-mile stretch of coast along southern Java.

A light aftershock that shook Pangandaran beach sent some people running, while others headed inland on motorcycles and cars as rumors circulated of a fresh tsunami.

Amateur video shows children playing in the surf and building sandcastles followed by brief footage of a wall of black water bearing down on the beach in Pangandaran. The camera person then runs away amid screams.

The tsunami was triggered by a magnitude 7.7 undersea earthquake and smashed into a 110-mile stretch of Java island’s coastline, which was unaffected by the devastating 2004 Asian tsunami.

Earthquake rattles Jakarta
Hours later, tall buildings swayed as an earthquake struck the Indonesian capital Jakarta and nearby parts of Java island, prompting people in several areas to flee from high-rise offices and homes.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake’s strength was 6.2 at its epicentre at the Indian Ocean end of the Sunda Strait off the southwestern tip of Java, said Fauzi, an official at the national earthquake center.