Indonesia's tsunami death toll rises to 272
Rescuers have recovered...
Rescuers have recovered 272 bodies as of Wednesday afternoon after a powerful earthquake hit Indonesia`s West Sumatra province Monday night, according to Xinhua.
Antorizon, head of Emergency Response section at the provincial National Search and Rescue agency (Basarnas), said 412 people are still missing and more than 4,000 families of 20,000 people have been displaced.
He said most of those bodies were found in four subdistricts badly stricken by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Those four subdistricts -- South Pagai, North Pagai, Sikakap and South Sipora -- are in Mentawai regency off West Sumatra coast.
"The Basarnas will dispatch another ship in the evening, carrying relief aids, volunteers and paramedics to the tsunami-hit area," he said, adding that four disaster-relief ships have reached the area Tuesday afternoon.
A total of 50 tons of logistics and relief aid for the victims were already shipped to the areas, he said.
Meanwhile, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has arrived at West Sumatra`s airport Wednesday afternoon. Vice President Boediono met him at the airport and held a closed-door meeting there.
The president, who cut his official visit to Vietnam for ASEAN Summit, was scheduled to inspect rescue efforts conducted in the tsunami-affected area on Thursday.
Sea transport is considered risky for the ships to transport passengers or logistics to the disaster areas due to the high tides, which also delayed rescue operation.