JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Disaster officials say the death toll from a tsunami off western Indonesia has climbed to 23 and scores of villagers are missing.
The 10-foot (three-meter) -high wave was triggered by a 7.7-magnitude quake, which struck 13 miles (20 kilometers) beneath the ocean floor late Monday.
It washed away hundreds of houses in two coastal villages on Pagai and Silabu, part of the remote and sparsely populated Mentawai island chain.
Ade Edward, a disaster management agency official, said Tuesday that casualty figures were just starting to trickle in. So far, 23 bodies have been found and at least 167 people were missing.
Indonesia is on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Editor's Note: The death toll is now said to be over 40 with nearly 400 missing.