Baby Found in Trees Days After Tsunami
Indonesian islands weren't covered by warning system
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2010 6:14 AM CDT
Survivors make their way past destroyed houses after their village was hit by Monday's earthquake-triggered tsunami at Parorogat village, Pagai island, Indonesia.   (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
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(Newser) – An 18-month-old baby was found alive in a clump of trees two days after a tsunami killed more than 400 people in Indonesia. The little boy, who was found by a 10-year-old child, is recovering in a health center, AP reports. Both his parents are dead. Tens of thousands of people in the Mentawai islands were displaced by the tsunami. The official death toll is 408; officials fear hundreds more were swept out to sea.

The tsunami warning system installed after a tsunami killed 220,000 people in 2004 was working when the wave hit, but the island group—which has a population of some 35,000 scattered throughout many remote villages—was not covered by it. Officials say they could only afford to install the necessary hi-tech buoys in more populated area, and with electricity and cell phones rare in the islands, passing on warnings would have been hugely difficult anyway.