The combined death toll from the twin tsunami and earthquake disasters which struck Indonesia within 24 hours has risen to more than 300, government officials said today, amid fears it could rise further still as the country's emergency response is stretched to the limit.
Rescuers discovered 282 bodies in the remote Mentawai islands, which were inundated with a 3 metres (10ft) wave when the Pacific "ring of fire" fault line ruptured on Monday night causing a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. World Vision, an aid agency, estimated more than 500 people remain unaccounted for and 7,000 households have been affected.
Indonesia struggled with twin disasters Saturday as the death toll from a tsunami topped 400 and the archipelago's most active volcano erupted again, spreading panic and ash over a vast area.
Rescuers were battling bad weather and logistical challenges to deliver aid to remote islands off the coast of Sumatra where a major earthquake triggered a tsunami on Monday, wiping out entire villages and killing at least 408 people.
The 7.5 magnitude quake near the Mentawi Islands at a depth of 14km (8 miles) triggered a tsunami watch, but officials later gave the all clear.
Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the quake struck at 2142 (1442 GMT) and was felt in towns in Bengkulu and west Sumatra provinces.
There have so far been no reports of damage or casualties.