The United States is increasing its contribution to relief efforts in South Asia in the aftermath of Sunday's tsunami disaster.
Today (Tuesday), U.S. officials pledged another 20 million dollars in aid on top of the 15 million dollars promised on Monday.
The U.S. military has dispatched 12 cargo planes to the region with supplies such as clean water and emergency shelter kits. Another nine U.S. patrol planes will help with search-and-rescue efforts.
In an interview with NBC television, Secretary of State Colin Powell said relief costs in Asia will ultimately run into the billions of dollars. He said he did not know how much the United States will eventually give but said Washington would be a "major contributor" to the international effort.
The State Department says 12 Americans have been confirmed dead in the disaster -- seven in Sri Lanka and five in Thailand.