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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Java tsunami death toll increases
Two survivors of the tsunami that hit Pangandaran in West Java, Indonesia
Pangandaran residents are seeing the full extent of the damage
The death toll from a tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Java has risen to at least 339, health ministry officials say.

Another 136 people are reported missing around Pangandaran, the worst-hit area.

The tsunami was triggered by a 7.7 magnitude undersea earthquake that struck off Pangandaran on Monday afternoon, causing a 2m-high wave.

Indonesian troops have arrived to help with the search for the missing and assist the hundreds of injured.

At first light, rescuers were confronted with the sight of bodies in the branches of trees, and in the rubble of smashed hotels and houses.

Boats and cars were washed inshore by the water and the streets were littered with debris.

I saw enormous waves engulf our beach and sweep away cars and boats
Eyewitness Elan Jayalani

Survivors spoke of a wall of water and a loud roar.

"When the waves came, I heard people screaming and then I heard something like a plane about to crash nearby, and I just ran," Uli Sutarli, a plantation worker who was on Pangandaran beach, told Reuters news agency.

A Belgian tourist said he was in a beachside bar when the wave hit. "I saw this big cloud of dark sea water coming up to me," he said.


In addition to the dead, about 450 people have been injured and around 52,700 people have been displaced, a spokesman for Indonesia's health ministry told the French news agency AFP.

Scene of devastation in Java, Indonesia

Hospitals were said to be packed with the injured seeking treatment and people searching for their relatives.

Body bags and other essential items have begun to arrive, and relief aid such as tents and food are being sent for the thousands of people who have fled their homes.

The UN's World Food Programme said it was sending 15 metric tons of noodles and high-energy biscuits to the survivors.

A number of foreign nationals were believed to be among the injured. Sweden's foreign ministry said two Swedish children from a family on holiday in the area were believed to be missing.

Exact figures for the numbers of dead are contradictory, but Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the toll was expected to rise in coming days.


Rumours that another tsunami was about to hit had people fleeing their homes in the early hours of Tuesday.

Indonesia map
0819GMT: 7.7 undersea earthquake triggers tsunami
0838GMT: International quake monitors send warnings, but no local alert systems in place
0915GMT: Waves around two metres high hit Java coast

But government officials and meteorologists say another tsunami is unlikely and have urged people not to panic.

After the earthquake, tsunami alerts were issued for parts of Indonesia and Australia by US and Japanese agencies.

But there was no reported local warning of the disaster, despite efforts to establish an early warning system in the wake of the 2004 Asian tsunami.

More than 130,000 people were killed in Indonesia in the December 2004 disaster.

The country sits on the seismically active Pacific "Ring of Fire", and experiences frequent earthquakes.

On 27 May, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit near the city of Yogyakarta in Java, killing more than 5,800 people.

Scenes of devastation caused by the tsunami

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