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Somali tsunami toll climbs to 176

Jan 01 (AFP) - The number of people killed in Somalia when a deadly tsunami struck the African country's Indian Ocean coast on December 26 has climbed to 176, presidential spokesman said on Saturday.

"Some 142 were killed by direct hit on the ground while 34 drowned in the sea when their vessel capsized," Yusuf Ismail Baribari, a spokesman for Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, told press conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

"The 142 people died in the Somali shorelines when their fishing villages were hit by the waves," he added.

On Thursday, Somali authorities said at least 132 people had died and up to 50,000 people were in urgent need of relief assistance.

The quake-powered waves - its epicentre was off the Indonesian island of Sumatra - have killed more than than 125,000 victims across the Indian Ocean since Sunday, spreading carnage across the shorelines of several Asian nations where diseases threaten to wipe out weakened survivors.

Mr Baribari said cases of acute diarrhoea were being reported among communities along the Somali devastated shoreline.

"There is a possibility of an outbreak of cholera from the diarrhoea," he added.

-AFP

 

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