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Tsunami Death Toll in Burma Rises to 53 - 2005-01-01


Burma has raised its tsunami death toll to 53 -- still short of the 90 deaths estimated by the United Nations.

State-run newspapers said today (Saturday) that the tsunami triggered by last Sunday's earthquake destroyed 17 villages, leaving 53 dead, 21 missing and 43 injured by aftershocks. About 778 people were left homeless.

The last official death toll the ruling junta had given was 36.

The reports said the Coco Islands in the Indian Ocean, which many people had expected to have suffered many deaths, were hit only slightly.

Burmese officials say the hardest hit area was the Ayeyarwaddy division, south of the capital of Rangoon.

information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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