Death Toll Will Exceed 20,000
More than twenty thousand people will have died in the tsunami, or tidal waves, which hit South East Asia from Sri Lanka to Malaysia today. The final death toll will never be known acurately because of the nature of the disaster and the nature of the places it has hit.
Initial estimates have rapidly climed to over 6,300 (Reuters) and will continue climibing all day. The worst hit areas are still out of contact however and many of the nations concerned habitually underestimate disaster as a slur to national pride.
Some two thousand kilometres of Indian coastline have been hit by waves up to six metres high which have passed sometimes a kilometre inland. Half of Sri Lanka is underwater. Whole Islands have been inundated in areas packed with seasonal western tourists.