Dozens of injured survivors of a tsunami off western Indonesia today languished at a sorely strapped hospital alongside a newly orphaned 2-month-old baby found in a storm drain, as the death toll from the disaster rose above 400.
The injured lay on mats or the bare floor as rainwater dripped onto them from holes in the ceiling and intravenous cords hung from plastic ropes strung from the rafters. The baby, its lungs filled with fluid and with cuts on its face, blinked sleepily in a humidified crib.
“We need doctors, specialists,” nurse Anputra said at the tiny hospital in Pagai Utara — one of the four main islands in the Mentawai chain slammed by Monday’s tsunami.
The toll from the tsunami and the 7.7-magnitude earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean that spawned it rose to 408 today as officials found more bodies, and 303 people were still missing, said Agus Prayitno, of the West Sumatra provincial disaster management center. Rescue teams “believe many, many of the bodies were swept to sea,” said Harmensyah, the disaster center’s chief.
Along with the 33 people killed by a volcano that erupted Tuesday more than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to the east in central Java, the number of dead from Indonesia’s twin disasters this week has now reached 441.