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The official number of victims of a terrible natural disaster is increasing along the way
With the coming of dawn, the rescue operations in the Asian regions affected by an earthquake near the western coast of Sumatra and the subsequent tsunami resumed. The official number of victims of a terrible natural disaster is increasing along the way. According to latest data, it reached about 16,000 people in nine countries of Africa and Asia. In some regions of Indonesia, incoming waves penetrated the land to a distance of 10 kilometers. The northern part of Sumatra, where the capital of Acheh province, Banda-Acheh, is located, was affected the most. Up to 3,000 people died there. According to the latest data, provided by the Health Ministry, the overall death toll in Indonesia reached 4,491 people. The majority of people became victims of the tsunami. Its waves near the coast of Sumatra were as high as 5 meters. Hundreds of people are still missing. Specialists from the National Department of Meteorology and Geophysics (NDMG) told RIA Novosti that the epicenter of the earthquake is located 66 kilometers south of the town of Molabo (the Acheh province) at the depth of 25 kilometers under the bottom of the Indian Ocean. According to newly acquired data, the NDMG assesses the strength of the quake at about 6.8 degrees on Richter scale. Meanwhile, according to latest data provided by American seismologists, the magnitude of the quake was about 9 degrees on the Richter scale, which makes the recent earthquake the strongest in the last 40 years worldwide. Ground tremors of up to 7 degrees were felt for 17 minutes. They seriously damaged hundreds of houses, destroyed several bridges and caused panic among residents of Acheh, Sumut and North Sumatra provinces. Many regions of the island are left without electricity and telephone communications, including mobile. However, the tsunami caused the major damage. According to local radio, on Monday morning there was another ground shock inthe zone of the previous earthquake, although it did not cause any additional damage or deaths. Approximately at the same time, a ground tremor of 6 degrees was felt near the Andamanskie Islands in the Bay of Bengal. According to American seismologists, the possibility of new quakes and tsunami is still very high. Spreading over the Indian Ocean and building up waves 10 meters in height, the tsunami reached the popular among Russian tourists Thai island of Phuket. Giant waves threw cars around as if they were toys, embedding them in hotel lobbies. According to reports, the coastline regions of the island are totally devastated. On Monday, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced that the overall number of deaths in the south of Thailand reached between 600 and 700. About 1,000 people, including the King's grandson Pumipon Adulyadeta, are reported missing. More than 5,000 people were injured. The majority of the dead are foreign tourists. Gigantic waves also killed 48 people on the Malaysian island of Pinang and the Kedah state. More than 100 are still considered missing. More than 150 were hospitalized with various injuries. "I am praying that there will be no more waves," announced Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Spreading over the surface of the Indian Ocean, the tsunami caused serious harm to Maldive atolls, which extend to a maximum of two meters over the surface of the ocean. Two-thirds of the capital of the Republic of Maldives, Male, were flooded. According to latest reports, the number of deaths on Maldive atolls reached 32 people. Fifty-one people are missing. The government of the republic continues the attempts to establish communications with other atolls hit by the waves. The state of emergency is announced on the Maldives. Sri Lanka suffered the bulk of the damage. According to a police spokesperson, the national death toll has already reached 6,090 people. The tsunami reached the coast of Sri Lanka, 1,500 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, in an hour and a half, leaving more than a million people, 5% of Sri Lanka's population, without housing. President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga President of Sri Lanka Chandrika B. Kumaratunga pronounced the country a national disaster zone and appealed to global community for urgent humanitarian assistance. After destroying the coast of Sri Lanka, the tsunami hit the coast of India killing up to 4,600 people there, according to latest reports. Indian meteorologists fear new tsunamis in the next few days. According to unconfirmed data, the tsunami also capsized several ships in the Indian Ocean. The waves were so powerful that they even reached the eastern coast of Africa six thousand kilometers from the epicenter, where they destroyed fishing boats and even flooded several regions. According to recent reports, nine people were killed in Somalia. In Indonesia, which is part of the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire" (a large tectonic fissure), earthquakes and volcano eruptions are very frequent. In August 1883, the largest archipelago on Earth became the site of the Krakatau volcano eruption on a small island of the same name in the Sunda strait between Java and Sumatra. The eruption was one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in recorded history. The explosion was heard 5,000 kilometers away from the volcano. Approximately 20 cubic kilometers of rock was thrown into the air with such force that a cloud of fine ashes covered the entire globe, and people around the world could see fiery-red sunsets for many months (Mikhail Tsyganov).
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