Tsunami death toll near 77,000; relief organization contacts
A rescue worker looks at dead bodies at a relief center set up at a temple in Khao Lak, north of the devastated Thai tourist resort island of Phuket following the massive tsunami that slammed into the Thai coastline.(AFP/Thomas Cheng)
This is just unbelievable. (AP):
The official death toll across 12 countries soared to near 77,000 and the Red Cross predicted it could pass 100,000.
Bodies were piled into mass graves in the belief that burial would ward off disease. Paramedics in southern India began vaccinating thousands of survivors against cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and dysentery, and authorities sprayed bleaching powder on beaches where bodies have been recovered. In Sri Lanka, reports of waterborne disease such as diarrhea caused fears of an epidemic.
…With tens of thousands of people still missing across the entire region, Peter Ress, Red Cross operations support chief, said the death toll could top 100,000. More than 500,000 were reported injured.
“We have little hope, except for individual miracles,” Jean-Marc Espalioux, chairman of the Accor hotel group, said of the search for thousands of tourists and locals missing from beach resorts of southern Thailand â€” including 2,000 Scandinavians.
The Pentagon says it will divert several U.S. warships and helicopters to the region, some of which can produce up to 90,000 gallons of drinking water a day.
Without clean water, respiratory and waterborne diseases could break out within days, putting millions at “grave risk,” the U.N. children’s agency said. “Standing water can be just as deadly as moving water,” said UNICEF (news – web sites) Executive Director Carol Bellamy. “The floods have contaminated the water systems, leaving people with little choice but to use unclean surface water.”
I’m passing on these links from Daily Kos:
American Red Cross International Response Fund
AmeriCares South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund
Direct Relief International International Assistance Fund
Médecins Sans Frontières International Tsunami Emergency Appeal
Sarvodaya Relief Fund for Tsunami Tragedy