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Indonesia tsunami kills 370; toll expected to rise

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By Associated Press

MENTAWAI ISLANDS, Indonesia (AP) — Rescuers searching islands ravaged by a tsunami off western Indonesia raised the death toll to 370 Thursday as more corpses were wrapped in body bags or buried by neighbors. Officials said hundreds of missing people may have been swept out to sea.

Elsewhere in Indonesia, the volcano that killed 33 people earlier this week began erupting again, though there were no reports of new injuries or damage. Mourners held a mass burial Thursday during a lull in Mount Merapi's rumblings.

The twin catastrophes struck within 24 hours in different corners of the seismically charged region, severely testing the nation's emergency response network.

Islanders dug graves and slung up tarps to sleep under in one of the areas hardest hit by a 10-foot (three-meter) wave that swept houses off their foundations and deposited the shattered remains in the jungle. Many residents who fled to the hills were refusing to return home for fear the sea might lash out again.


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