GENEVA – The international Red Cross said Wednesday that the death toll from this week's earthquake and tsunami (search) in the Indian Ocean could rise to more than 100,000.
"We're facing a disaster of unprecedented proportion in nature," said Simon Missiri, Asia Pacific chief at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (search).
The agency said its current estimate is 77,000, but it fears that could rise. The official death toll, based on figures provided by each affected country, is around 68,800, said the federation's Operations Support chief, Peter Rees.
More than 32,500 are reported dead in Indonesia; 22,000 in Sri Lanka; 12,500 in India; and 1,538 in Thailand, Rees said. A total of 285 are reported dead in Bangladesh, Kenya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, the Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania, he said.
An Associated Press count based on official reports from the 12 affected nations put the toll at 67,700 — with the main differences from the Red Cross coming from India and Indonesia.