Kanammal, from Tamil Nadu, is in shock after
losing her husband
One of the
world's largest relief efforts is under way to help the
millions of victims of the Asia quake, which killed more
than 50,000 people.
disaster assessment teams have fanned out to the affected
countries and local agencies are distributing emergency aid.
The UN says it
faces an unprecedented challenge in co-ordinating
distribution of aid to some 10 nations at one time.
A huge undersea
quake triggered sea surges, leaving millions homeless.
zone is now threatened with outbreaks of disease, which the
UN health agency has warned could double the death toll.
Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand were
among the worst hit by Sunday's 9.0 magnitude earthquake,
which sent huge waves from Malaysia to Africa.
The extent of
the disaster in some remote regions is not yet known but, as
rescue workers discover more bodies, the true extent of the
tsunami's devastation is becoming clearer:
CONFIRMED DEATH TOLL
Sri Lanka: 18,706 dead
Indonesia: 27,174 dead
India: 4,371 dead
Thailand: 1,516 dead
Maldives: 52 dead
Malaysia: 44 dead
Burma: 30 dead
Bangladesh: 2 dead
Somalia: 100 dead
Kenya: 1 dead
Seychelles: 3 dead
Tanzania: 10 dead
government says the country's death toll has reached
Parliamentary elections in the Maldives, scheduled for
Friday, are postponed, as a government official warns the
cost of damage could exceed the island nation's annual GDP
- About 7,000
people are feared dead in the low-lying Andaman and
Nicobar islands, say Indian officials, with 20% of the
population on one island, Car Nicobar, believed killed
- The bodies
of more than 700 mainly foreign tourists have been found
in the Thai resort of Khao Lak - the government says the
death toll in Thailand may rise to about 2,000.
UN emergency relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland said on Tuesday
said the organisation would probably make its largest ever
appeal for humanitarian funding.
He told the BBC
that the damage was "beyond comprehension".
"A tsunami of
this size happens once in a generation only," he said.
"The first wave
of destruction has caused tens of thousands of deaths, but
the second wave of misery is really caused now by the water
and sanitation systems."
World Health Organization (WHO) expert David Nabarro told
reporters "there is certainly a chance that we could have as
many dying from communicable diseases as from the tsunami".
In Sri Lanka
alone, more than one million people are displaced and aid
workers are under pressure to ensure they have clean water
and sanitation to prevent an outbreak of disease.
The local UN
agency has opened up its relief stockpiles, but the BBC's
Roland Buerk says there is little sign as yet of aid
supplies in the south-west town of Galle.
People in both
Sri Lanka and in Indonesia have been scrambling through mud
and ruins looking for food and water, correspondents report.
Mr Egeland said
hundreds of planes carrying emergency aid would be airborne
over the next couple of days.
carrying emergency supplies from nine countries, including
Britain, France and the US, were due to arrive in Sri Lanka
Many tourists are among Thailand's dead
communities across South Asia - and more than 4,000 km away
in Africa - were swept away and homes engulfed by waves up
to 10m high after the quake created a tsunami that sped
across the ocean.
Many of the
victims had no warning. Fishermen were swept off boats, and
tourists were washed from the beaches.
- the fourth strongest since 1900 - had a particularly
widespread effect because it seems to have taken place just
below the surface of the ocean, analysts say.
generated by earthquakes can travel at up to 500km/h.
Quake prompts enormous aid effort