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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Asia Tsunami Death Toll Soars Past 77,000



Asia Tsunami Death Toll Climbs Past 77,000; Relief Supplies Pile Up Indonesia Airport.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia Dec 30, 2004 — As the world scrambled to the rescue, survivors fought over packs of noodles in quake-stricken Indonesian streets Wednesday while relief supplies piled up at the airport for lack of cars, gas or passable roads to move them. The official death toll across 11 countries soared past 77,000 and the Red Cross predicted it could exceed 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.

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