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Bad weather slows aid to Indonesia tsunami victims

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By Associated Press

MENTAWAI ISLANDS, Indonesia (AP) — Choppy seas, poor visibility and a shortage of boats are slowing the delivery of tons of food, water and blankets to the most remote corners of the Indonesian islands hit hardest by a tsunami that killed more than 400 people and crushed entire villages, an official said Friday.

Hundreds of miles (kilometers) away, a volcano on the island of Java that killed 35 people this week erupted five more times Friday, sending searing clouds of ash cascading down its slopes, but no more casualties were reported. Officials said two more people died of burns from Tuesday's eruption.

Four days after the tsunami crashed into the Mentawai islands off Sumatra, details of survivors' misery and new accounts of the terrifying moments when the wave struck were still trickling out from the area, which was cut off by rough seas for nearly two days after the 7.7-magnitude earthquake that churned up the killer wave.

A group of surfers told of huddling, screaming and praying as they watched a roaring wall of water cross a lagoon and slam into their three-story thatch-roofed resort. The power of the wave shook the building so hard they feared it would collapse. All 27 people at the resort survived — five of them by clinging to trees.


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