Fast Facts: Quake, Tsunami

Published December 28, 2004

| Associated Press

DEVELOPMENTS

— 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.

DEATH TOLL

— 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

FOREIGN DEATHS

— 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

THE EARTHQUAKE

— 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

— 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

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