More Than 400 Dead After Indonesian Tsunami

    5:03am UK, Saturday October 30, 2010

David Williams, Sky News Online

Eruptions from Indonesia's most active volcano continue to threaten the nation as the death toll from the region's recent tsunami rose again.

Mount Merapi eruption

Mount Merapi's most recent eruption was the second in the past week

More than 410 people are believed to have lost their lives while a further 300 people remain missing following the 10ft wave on Monday, which was triggered by a 7.5 magnitude quake.

Indonesians fled to makeshift camps on the Mentawai islands, with an estimated 40,000 people taking shelter amid the continuing stormy weather.

Local media reported parts of the tsunami early warning system had not worked properly while a TV channel found villagers questioning its effectiveness.

Mourner in Indonesia

A mourner on the Mentawai islands

Yet the head of the nation's meteorological agency defended the system, which had been installed after the devastating 2004 tsunami, adding barely three sensors out of 100 were faulty.

Fresh plumes of ash and spewed lava are meanwhile threatening to contaminate the water after Mount Merapierupted again.

Raised up on the outskirts of Yogyakarta city on Java island, Merapi blew its top with devastating effect on Tuesday, barely 24 hours after the quake and tsunami.

Mount Merapi eruption

Indonesia's position on the 'Ring of Fire' makes it prone to eruptions

At least 34 people were killed. No casualties have been yet reported from the latest blast.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has already flown back to Indonesia from a summit of Asian leaders in Hanoi after the twin disasters.

Provisions for the constant flow of aid are in place, though an estimated 13,000 people remain holed up on the Mentawai islands awaiting drops from relief planes.

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are unfortunately common on Indonesia, sat on the Pacific 'Ring of Fire'.