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Tsunami Death Toll Passes 150,000 As Annan, Powell Tour Destruction  - 2005-01-07


The U.S. secretary of state and the United Nations secretary-general have toured coastal towns and villages that were devastated by the massive tsunami in South Asia December 26th.

After viewing Indonesia's hard-hit Aceh province, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he is shocked by the level of destruction there.

Indonesia confirmed 7,000 more deaths Friday, increasing its toll to more than 100,000 -- most of which were in Aceh. The total number of confirmed tsunami dead is more than 153,000 people.

In Sri Lanka, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited battered fishing villages in the south and praised efforts to rebuild communities. Mr. Powell said the United States has pledged about 25-million dollars in aid for Sri Lanka and is committed to playing a role in rebuilding the island-nation.

Relief workers say there have been no major outbreaks of disease among survivors, but that relatively minor problems like diarrhea or injuries can become deadly if not treated.

The World Health Organization says that if unsanitary conditions cause a disease outbreak, it could double the current death toll.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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