Survivor Tells of Wave That Swept Everything Away

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MENTAWAI ISLANDS, Indonesia (AP) - A survivor of this week's tsunami in Indonesia says he was jolted awake by a powerful earthquake -- and then ran with his neighbors to high ground.

He says they watched as the sea receded, and then came roaring
back "like a big wall," sweeping away their entire village.

It's one of the first survivor accounts of the tsunami that has killed at least 370 people. Hundreds more are missing, and officials believe many of them were swept out to sea.

Aid workers found giant chunks of coral and rocks in places where homes once stood. Huge areas of land were under water.

Officials in Indonesia say a multi-million-dollar tsunami warning system that detects sudden changes in water levels broke down a month ago because it wasn't being properly maintained.

But a German official with the project denies there was a breakdown. He says the epicenter was too close to the islands that were hit for residents to get the warning in time.

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