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Asia Quake Toll Tops 26,000!


Relief supplies being transported to Aceh, Indonesia.


A boat and a gift shop submerged on the beach of Phi Phi Island in Thailand

Get more pictures about the disaster at the photo gallery or the post – Asia Quake Toll Tops 23,000 in my blog.

(CNN) — Two days after tsunamis swept across the Indian Ocean from Thailand to Somalia killing at least 26,000 people, the international community scrambled to help the region cope with a disaster whose magnitude was only beginning to emerge.

Families are flocking to makeshift morgues seeking lost loved ones as hundreds of thousands have been left homeless in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Authorities across the region are running out of places to put the dead — lining them up in schools and stacking them in the street — as food aid and other supplies for survivors are making their way to affected areas.

The United Nations is asking donor countries to dig deeper, saying this will likely be the costliest disaster ever.

“People need help fast,” said one man in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where flags were at half-staff.

“There’s no power, there’s no petrol, there’s no movement, there’s no support getting through to the injured, and I believe there are bodies that need to be identified and transported out of there. With this heat, sanitation problems will arise.”

The magnitude 9.0 quake struck about 7 a.m. Sunday (0000 GMT) and was centered about 100 miles (160 kilometers) off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island at a depth of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

The tsunamis’ paths left massive, indiscriminate destruction in areas that included some of the world’s richest tourist sites and impoverished villages.

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Updated facts of the aftermath:
(1) SRI LANKA
Sri Lankan military authorities report more than 12,000 people killed. Tamil Tiger rebels report 2,000 dead in the territory they hold in the northeast of the country.

(2) INDIA
At least 8,000 killed by waves that flooded the southern coast, official media report.

(3) INDONESIA
News agencies report more than 4,730 killed, many of them in Aceh in northern Sumatra.

(4) THAILAND
Thai authorities report at least 1,000 people dead.

(5) MALDIVES
46 people are dead and more than 70 missing, according to Hassan Sobir, the Maldives high commissioner.

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