province said 10 villages on the island chain were swept away by waves
as high as three meters caused by Monday’s 7.2-magnitude quake.
Mujiarto, head of the
number of missing at 502. It said in a statement that 2,000 families
were displaced and nine boats were unaccounted for.
Authorities had lifted a tsunami warning one hour
after the quake and initially said there were no reports of casualties
“The information came late because communication was difficult,” said
destroyed by a tsunami minutes after the quake, where waves reached as
far as 600 meters inland and submerged dozens of houses.
On Pagai Utara island, up to 80 percent of homes in
Betumonga village were destroyed, leaving “many people” missing and
feared dead, he said.
relief, said relief workers were en route to the Mentawais to provide
emergency assistance. A boat trip to the islands takes about 10 hours
from the provincial capital Padang on
The Mentawai chain consists of 70 islands and islets
with a population of about 68,000 people, 150 kilometres off the
western coast of
Experts have for the past two years warned that a
massive undersea earthquake was likely to occur in the future beneath
the Mentawais and could trigger a deadly tsunami similar to the one
That tsunami killed more than 230,000 people, including about 170,000 in
A magnitude-7.6 earthquake hit Padang and neighboring districts on Java in
Monday’s quake was also felt strongly in several areas of western
Authorities evacuated thousands of villagers from the slopes of
A 6-month-old baby died and at least 13 people were injured when the volcano spewed clouds of hot ash.
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