Tsunami death toll rises to 'about 20'17/07/2006 - 13:54:25
A powerful earthquake sent a two-metre tsunami crashing into beach resorts along Indonesia’s Java island today, killing about 20 people and causing extensive damage to hotels, restaurants and homes.
Thousands of people fled to higher ground along a 110-mile stretch of the densely populated island’s southern coast, some shouting “tsunami, tsunami” and climbing trees or crowding into mosques to pray.
Indonesia was the worst hit by the 2004 tsunami and has installed a warning system across much of Sumatra island, but not on Java, which just seven weeks ago was hit by a powerful quake that killed thousands.
The extent of damage from today’s wave was not immediately clear, police said, with roads blocked and power cut to much of the area.
A witness in Pangandaran resort, which according to initial reports appeared to be hardest hit, said she saw around 20 bodies piled up at a local health clinic.
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