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Helicopter Food Drops Reach Remote Areas of Tsunami-Devastated Indonesia

  • VOA News

Military helicopters are dropping food and rescuing people in areas of Indonesia cut off from the outside world one week ago by a massive tsunami and earthquake.

UN relief coordinator Jan Egeland said on Sunday the US Indonesian and Australian helicopters are "worth their weight in gold." Mr. Egeland said the latest figures show the devastating tsunami has left 1.8 million people in South Asia and East Africa in need of food assistance. He said most of the need is in Indonesia's hard-hit Aceh province. At least 127,000 people are known to have died in the disaster. International health officials fear outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and malaria could claim many more lives. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says it could take up to 10-years to rebuild South Asia. He is meeting later this week with world leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia for a summit on aid and how to distribute the $2 billion raised so far. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is due to attend the summit. He left for the region today, where he will also inspect damage in Thailand and Indonesia.

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