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Fatalities Increase After Earthquakes in Samoa, Indonesia


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Indonesian officials say a powerful earthquake that struck Wednesday off the coast of Sumatra has killed at least 200 people, with the death toll expected to rise.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the Sumatra quake had a magnitude of 7.6 and was centered 600 kilometers northwest of Jakarta, near the city of Padang. The head of the country's disaster management agency, Priyadi Kardono, gave the new death toll Thursday.

Other officials predicted it would eventually top 1,000 as bodies are recovered from hundreds of collapsed buildings in the city.

In the Samoan islands, authorities say the number of dead from Tuesday's 8.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami waves has risen to at least 119.

The majority of fatalities occurred in Samoa, where at least 84 people were killed. Another 24 are confirmed dead on American Samoa, and seven fatalities have been reported in nearby Tonga.

And the number of deaths from Typhoon Ketsana is up to more than 330, after the storm raked across the Philippines, central Vietnam and Cambodia earlier this week. As rescue workers look for more victims, forecasters say tropical storm Parma has strengthened in the Pacific and could bring more rain to the region.

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