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ASIAN TSUNAMI DISASTER UPDATE ...
RED CROSS SAYS DISEASE COULD ADD TO DEATH TOLL

Background:

More than 114,000 people were killed in south Asia and Africa by Sunday's massive earthquake and tsunami waves, according to official figures. In addition to the 11 hardesthit nations, 36 countries also had at least 473 citizens in the region, many of them tourists, killed in the quake and its aftermath.

The latest:

* Indonesia: At least 79,900 people were killed, all on Sumatra island, the Health Ministry said. The government has only just begun counting deaths in districts on Sumatra's hard-hit western coast, meaning the final toll will almost certainly rise significantly. At Banda Aceh, the wrecked capital of Indonesia's Aceh province, bulldozers dug mass graves for thousands of corpses lining the streets and lawns as authorities hurried to get the dead in the ground.

* Sri Lanka: Some 24,743 killed in government and rebel controlled areas. More than 1 million people were displaced.

* India: The government said 7,330 deaths have been confirmed, but the toll was expected to climb. A police official said 8,000 people were missing and possibly dead in India's remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located just north of Sumatra; so far, 90 deaths from the archipelago were among the ministry count.

* Thailand: The government said 2,394 people died, among them more than 700 tourists.

What to watch for:

* The International Red Cross warned that disease could add significantly to death toll.

* Health officials are working to try to prevent an outbreak of diseases and curb food shortages among millions of homeless, which the United Nations health agency said could kill as many as the waves and quake. While Sri Lanka said it was getting its first reports of measles and diarrhea, paramedics in southern India began vaccinating 65,000 survivors against cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and dysentery.

* German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called on creditor nations to suspend debt repayments from countries ravaged by the earthquake and tsunamis to help them in their massive recovery efforts.

Who's talking:

"The United States will continue to stand with the affected governments as they care for the victims. We will stand with them as they start to rebuild their communities. And together the world will cope with their loss." -- President Bush

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