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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 12:41 GMT
Indonesia quake toll jumps again
Two men remove their belongings as flames spread on the debris-strewn coast of Indonesia's tsunami-battered Aceh province , 25 Jan
A fire broke out in Banda Aceh on Monday, hampering aid efforts
Indonesia has again raised its estimate of the number of people killed by December's earthquake and tsunami.

Health Minister Fadilah Supari said more than 220,000 people died or are missing, bringing the total killed throughout the region to 280,000.

A month after the disaster, relief workers in Aceh province are still pulling corpses from the wreckage.

But daily life is slowly returning, and the province's schools were reportedly set to reopen on Wednesday.

"One of the best things you can do for children is to establish a sense of normalcy and routine," Save the Children spokeswoman Eileen Burke told Reuters news agency.

Dr Supari told the BBC that between 95,000 and 100,000 bodies had now been found and buried in Aceh and northern Sumatra.

Indonesia: at least 95,000 dead; 133,000 missing, presumed dead
Sri Lanka: 31,000 dead; 5,637 missing
India (inc. Andaman and Nicobar islands): 10,744 dead; 5,640 missing
Thailand: 5,384 dead; 3,130 missing
Somalia: approx. 150 dead
Maldives: 82 dead; 26 missing
Malaysia: 68 dead
Burma: 59 dead (government figure)
Tanzania: 10 dead
Bangladesh: 2 dead
Kenya: 1 dead
Seychelles: 1 dead

But she added that another 133,000 people were still missing, presumed dead.

The new Indonesian figures represent a rise of more than 50,000 from previous estimates of the number of people who perished in the disaster.

The BBC's Tim Johnston, in Jakarta, says that many bodies will never be found and that calculating the number of dead has become a matter of bureaucracy rather than recovery.

Collecting bodies is likely to take another four weeks, according to officials.

Indonesia's government has said it wants to dispel concerns about corrupt officials taking advantage of the aid effort, by regularly announcing the amount of money it receives in foreign donations, and where the funds are being spent.

"We will announce every month, on the 26th, the money we receive," Co-ordinating Minister for Welfare Alwi Shihab told the Associated Press news agency.

Indonesia is known as one of the world's most corrupt countries, and small-scale cases of soldiers and government officials "charging" to escort aid convoys have already been reported in Aceh.


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