Confirmed quake death total at 518

GUNUNG SITOLI, Indonesia -- Firefighters freed a man trapped in a crumpled house on remote Nias island on Wednesday, 36 hours after he was buried in rubble. As the first foreign military help arrived, officials said an estimated 1,000 people had died in the region's latest large earthquake.

North Sumatra Gov. Rizal Nurdin estimated that 1,000 people died in the latest disaster, but officials feared the number could climb to 2,000. Bodies were still being discovered in the ruins of houses and shops on Wednesday and laid out in front of churches and mosques.

The confirmed death toll was put at 518, with 500 of those on Nias, according to United Nations official Masood Hyder, following a survey by U.N. staff.

Comments