Published December 28, 2004
— Thousands of people are missing, and millions are homeless.
— A U.N. children's agency estimates that almost a third of the dead are children.
— Aid agencies fear malaria and cholera may add to the death toll.
— U.N. officials say it would be the world's biggest relief effort.
— Mourners in Sri Lanka (search) buried their dead with bare hands.
— Displaced and hungry islanders in Indonesia looted stores.
— 10,000 dead found in a single Indonesian town.
— In Sri Lanka, a train was flung off its tracks, leaving many of its 1,000 passengers dead or missing.
— In Galle, Sri Lanka, officials advised residents to lay bodies on roads for collection.
— In Malaysia, a 20-day-old baby was found alive on a floating mattress. She and her family were reunited.
— A Hong Kong couple vacationing in Thailand clung to a mattress for six hours.
— A 2-year-old infant was taken to a hospital where his uncle found him after seeing him on the Web.
— Sri Lanka's air force evacuated former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (search) from the hotel where he was stranded.
— Supermodel Petra Nemcova, who was vacationing in Thailand, is recovering from a shattered hip and internal injuries.
— U.S. Agency for International Development (search) to add $20 million to initial $15 million for relief.
— National elections were postponed indefinitely in the Maldives.
— More than 55,000 people are reported dead around southern Asia and as far away as Africa's eastern coast.
Death tolls by country:
— Indonesia: 19,000.
— Sri Lanka: 21,715.
— India: 4,413.
— Thailand: 1,516.
— Somalia: 100.
— Myanmar: 90.
— Malaysia: 65.
— Maldives: 62.
— Tanzania: 10
— Seychelles: 2.
— Bangladesh: 2.
— Kenya: 1
— Britain: 17
— Italy: 13
— United States: 11
— France: 10
— Germany: 10
— Australia: 8
— Sweden: 3
— Denmark: 3
— Austria: 4
— Japan: 4
— South Korea: 4
— South Africa: 4
— Belgium: 2
— Netherlands: 2
— Finland: 1
— Taiwan: 1
— New Zealand: 1
— A magnitude 9 quake struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia Sunday.
— It was the most powerful earthquake in the world in four decades.
— The quake occurred more than 6 miles deep and was followed by a half-dozen powerful aftershocks.
— A 620-mile section of a geological plate shifted, triggering tsunamis.
— Walls of water sped away from the quake's epicenter at more than 500 mph before crashing into shorelines.
— Tsunamis as large as Sunday's happen only a few times a century.
— A tsunami is a series of traveling ocean waves generated by geological disturbances near the ocean floor.
— With nothing to stop them, the waves can race across the ocean like the crack of a bullwhip.
— They gain momentum over thousands of miles.
INTERNATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM
— Started in 1965, one year after tsunamis associated with a 9.2 magnitude quake struck Alaska.
— Member states include the major Pacific rim nations in North America, Asia and South America.
— Administered by the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
— No such warning system exists in the Indian Ocean.
— Scientists said deaths would have been reduced if one had.
— Thai officials issued the only warnings of the impending disaster, but broadcasts underestimated it.
— A Web site caution was not posted until three hours after the first waves hit in Thailand.
— The World Conference on Disaster Reduction next month in Japan will discuss an Indian Ocean warning system.
STATE DEPARTMENT INFORMATION ABOUT U-S CITIZENS IN DISASTER AREA
— Within the United States, toll free number: 888-407-4747.
— Overseas: 317-472-2328.
— State Department's American Citizens Services and Crisis Management, 202-647-5225.
— Information about disaster relief, preparation and emergency services to U.S. citizens abroad: http://travel.state.gov/travel/crisismg.html.
AGENCIES HELPING EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
— American Jewish World Service: 800-889-7146, http://www.ajws.org
— American Red Cross International Response Fund: 800-HELP NOW, http://www.redcross.org
— Catholic Relief Services: 800-736-3467, http://www.catholicrelief.org
— Direct Relief International: 805-964-4767, http://www.directrelief.org
— Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres: 888-392-0392, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org
— International Medical Corps: 800-481-4462, http://www.imcworldwide.org
— International Orthodox Christian Charities Middle East Crisis Response: 877-803-4622, http://www.iocc.org
— Mercy Corps: 800-852-2100, http://www.mercycorps.org
— Operation USA: 800-678-7255, http://www.opusa.org