Hunt for survivors as Indonesian tsunami death toll tops 280


Indonesian rescuers battled heavy rains Monday in a desperate search for survivors after a volcano-triggered tsunami killed at least 281 people, with experts warning the devastated region could be slammed by more tidal waves.

The national disaster agency said casualty figures were set to rise as it issued the fresh death toll — up from a previous 222 — and said more than 50 people were still missing.

Over 1,000 were injured in the disaster on Saturday evening, the agency added.

“The number of victims and damage will continue to rise,” said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Rescue teams used diggers and other heavy equipment to haul debris from the stricken area around the Sunda Strait on Monday, as thousands were evacuated from the affected region.

“The military and police are searching the ruins to see if we can find more victims,” said Dody Ruswandi, a senior official at the disaster agency, adding that the rescue effort was likely to last a week.