The United Nations has warned the death toll from last week's earthquake and tsunami "will rise exponentially" on the Indonesian island Sumatra.
U.N. Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland says many of the villages on Sumatra's low-lying west coast "are gone." Indonesia is now reporting about 94,000 known fatalities, putting the overall death toll in the region at about 145,000. For survivors still stranded in Indonesia and parts of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, military helicopters are dropping food and supplies.
In more accessible areas, the massive international relief effort launched in the past few days is now reaching tens of thousands. Mr. Egeland called the outpouring of help "overwhelming," noting that even some of the world's poorest countries are providing aid. Relief officials say nearly two million people in Asia and Africa are in need of food assistance and help to ward off the threat of disease.
The French news agency reports Sweden is sending its stockpile of cholera vaccine to affected areas. Relief officials say in some areas, survivors are ready to rebuild and aid must be prepared accordingly. Relief coordinator Egeland says that some fisherman don't want to be given fish, they want nets and boats so they can get back to work.