JAKARTA, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- More than 1,800 people died and hundreds others were injured after a powerful earthquake triggered tsunamis that swept through the island of Sumatra Sunday.
The quake, the largest to hit the region in more than four decades, triggered tidal waves measuring nearly 10 feet that swept away thousands of houses and severely damaged hundreds more, as well as cutting off power and disrupting telephone communications, officials said.
An official at Jakarta's Health Ministry put the death toll at 1,871 by early Sunday evening. Some 1,400 of the dead came from Aceh, 1,100-miles northwest of Jakarta.
On Nias, a small island off the western coast of North Sumatra, at least 54 residents perished and an unknown number are missing and feared drowned.
Officials feared the death toll could rise further.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake registered as high as 8.9 on the Richter scale.