Emergency workers in western Indonesia have been finding more bodies after a devastating tsunami earlier this week. The number of dead now stands at 370, though officials are warning the final tally could be 500.
Hundreds more disappeared when the three metre wave hit the Mentawai archipelago. Pagai Island was swamped.
Tom Plummer from the charity SurfAid International described the scene. “I’m blown away with what we’ve seen here. Behind us there used to be all cottages. There’s debris in the trees, probably two or three metres up. So it gives you an indication of how high the water was.”
Many villages were razed to the ground, triggering a flow of the injured and homeless to treatment centres.
The European Commission has released 1.5 million euros for an estimated 65,000 tsunami victims, and a further 22,000 affected by Indonesia’s twin natural disaster further east – the eruption of the Mount Merapi volcano on Java.
The area around one of the country’s most active volcanoes is still on high alert after it threw a blanket of ash over the densely populated surrounding region on Tuesday.
Thirty-two people died in that series of eruptions.
After they buried their dead in a mass ceremony, Merapi began erupting again.
Emergency services continued a mammoth effort to evacuate thousands of people living on the volcano’s slopes.