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Organization says tsunami warning system worked after Indonesia quake

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Aid staggers into Indonesia
  • The tsunami followed a 7.7-magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra
  • A German organization involved in maintaining the tsunami warning system says it worked
  • Reports of vandalism before the quake "are entirely unfounded," the organization says

(CNN) -- A German organization involved in establishing and maintaining the Indonesian tsunami warning system denies widespread reports that the system failed to detect the tsunami that devastated parts of the Mentawai Islands on Monday.

In particular the organization refuted news articles claiming the warning system had been vandalized and was not functioning.

"Contrary to reports stating otherwise, all components of the tsunami early warning system worked properly," the German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System said in a statement.

"Reports of broken or even deliberately destroyed system units are entirely unfounded," it added.

Video: Indonesia quake explained

The statement continued: "The detection of the causative earthquake by the seismic network was almost in real time, the corresponding operational image showed relevant warning levels in particular for the western coastline of the Mentawai Islands. The measurement of the tsunami at gauging stations on the islands and along the coast of Sumatra was accurate."

Meanwhile, the Indonesian state news agency ANTARA, quoting officials in the affected area, reported the latest toll was at least 370 dead, with 334 people still missing and some 486 houses destroyed.

The tsunami followed a 7.7-magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.