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Red Cross Says Tsunami Death Toll Could Top 100,000


The International Red Cross says the death toll from South Asia's massive tsunami could top 100,000 as relief workers rush to bury thousands of dead and help survivors.

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Andrew Natsios, says thousands of people are still missing and parts of the 12 affected nations are inaccessible. He spoke Wednesday as the official reported toll neared 80,000 people. In some areas, officials gave up on indentifying the dead and buried them in mass graves. Still rattled survivors were further shaken Wednesday by powerful aftershocks measuring more than 6.0 in magnitude. Indonesia has been hardest-hit so far, recording more than 45,000 deaths.

Relief and rescue workers are still having trouble reaching remote areas of the country's Sumatra island, which was hit by both the tsunami and the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered it. India and the island-nation of Sri Lanka have also reported heavy fatalities. Deaths were also reported in Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Maldives, Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya, and Seychelles.

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