Indonesia tsunami: Rescuers battle to reach survivors

Indonesian rescue teams are battling to reach an estimated 500 people believed to be missing since a tsunami struck small islands off the coast of Sumatra.Officials say a 3m-high wave crashed into the Mentawai islands after a quake on Monday, killing at least 112 people.Rescuers are now in the region, facing bad weather and post-quake aftershocks as they search for survivors.Indonesia’s president is cutting short a trip to Vietnam to visit the islands and oversee the relief operation.Officials said Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would fly back from a meeting with regional leaders to help deal with the tsunami aftermath.He will also be briefed on the rescue effort on Java, where an erupting volcano has caused chaos.US President Barack Obama, who spent some of his childhood in Indonesia, has spoken of his sadness at the deaths.”At the same time, I am heartened and encouraged by the remarkable resiliency of the Indonesian people and the commitment of their government to rapidly assist the victims,” he said in a statement.He said the US was ready to help in any way.

Higher ground

In the tsunami zone, regional disaster official Hermansyah said rough seas were making it difficult to ship aid to the Mentawai islands from Padang, the nearest major port on Sumatra.Forecasters say the bad weather is likely to continue in the coming days – Bbc