Indonesian Deaths Climb, Merapi Erupts Again

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The death toll in Indonesia continues to rise as a shortage of boats has hampered rescue efforts in the remote islands hardest hit by the tsunami earlier this week.

Officials say more than 400 people were killed when the giant wall of water crushed entire villages. There are about 300 still missing and many of those may have been swept out to sea.

In the midst of the devastation, however, a miracle has occurred. A 2-month-old baby boy was pulled alive from a storm drain. Nurses have been caring for the newly orphaned infant.

"We need doctors, specialists," nurse Anputra said at the tiny hospital in Pagai Utara - one of the four main islands in the Mentawai chain slammed by Monday's tsunami.

Meanwhile, on the main island of Java, Mount Merapi erupted five more times on Friday, sending ash down its slopes.

The activity appeared to be easing pressure behind a lava dome that has formed in the crater, said Safari Dwiyono, a scientist who has been monitoring Merapi for 15 years.

But scientists say the relatively small rumblings are a good sign. If they release energy slowly, it reduces the chance of a bigger, more powerful eruption.

There were no reports of new injuries or damage from the new eruptions.

A relief coordinator acknowledged Friday that aid was being held up. Suryadi, who is coordinating the aid response from West Sumatra, said tons of aid has reached the main towns on the worst-hit islands by helicopter after rough seas kept boats away for two days.

"We need more boats," Suryadi said. He could not estimate how many boats are now delivering aid, but most of the islands' craft would have been washed away by the wave, and helicopters have no place to land in many of the devastated villages.

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