Death toll from Indonesian tsunami climbs to 449

October 31, 2010 06:47

MENTAWAI ISLANDS, Indonesia — Disaster officials say the death toll from a tsumami that barreled into several remote Indonesian islands one week ago has climbed to 449.

Nelis Zuliastri, a spokeswoman for the National Disaster Management Agency, says the number climbed with the discovery of more bodies in the disaster-zone.A 7.7-magnitude earthquake spawned the towering wave that some witnesses say was more than 18-feet- (six-meters-) high, sweeping away more than 700 homes.

Hundreds of villagers were reported missing.

But Zuliastri said Sunday the number continued to fall as islanders who had fled to high ground were slowly returning home. She said at least 96 people remain unaccounted for.

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