Sunda Strait tsunami death toll rises to 397

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The death toll due to the tsunami disaster in the Sunda Strait, Banten province, has increased to 397 people, M Syaugi, head of the national Search and Rescue agency said here on Tuesday.

Out of which, 84 bodies as victims of the tsunami disaster which occurred on Saturday night (Dec.22) have been decomposed at the Pandeglangs Berkah general hospital, according to head of Pandeglang District Health affairs office Raden Dewi Sentani.

"All the bodies have not been identified, causing their families got difficulty to recognize (decomposed bodies)," he remarked.

The Berkah hospital does not have adequate facility of refrigerator for a large amount of corpses.

At present, the dead bodies have been stored in a room without cooling facilities that have potential to cause health problems.

Thus, the hospital management asked the Ministry of Health to provide refrigerated containers to store the large number of bodies.

The corpses that have been laid for three days in the hospital would have been discolored, causing difficulty to identify.

"We propose that the unrecognized remains be photographed so that their families can make identification," he disclosed.

Raden further said, if the bodies have been kept for more than a week, they should be buried en masse, as the decomposed bodies can emit a foul odor that can cause disease.

Source: ANTARA News

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