Indian islands hit by eight aftershocks

Dec. 29, 2004 at 1:12 PM

NEW DELHI, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Nearly four days after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Southeast Asia, islands off India experienced eight strong aftershocks Wednesday.

The already battered Andaman and Nicobar Islands were shaken by temblors measuring between 5.1 and 6.1 on the Richter scale, the Press Trust of India reported.

At least 10,000 people on the islands remained unaccounted for Wednesday.

Elsewhere in India, the official death toll swelled past 12,500 as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced he would make a two-day tour of the affected areas in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Facing fears of epidemics in those regions, the government deployed teams to provide inoculations and to assess the number of homeless.

In Tamil Nadu, where at least 7,000 were killed, hasty mass burials and cremations were arranged to prevent putrefied bodies from spreading disease, the agency reported.

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