The international effort to help victims of last week's devastating tsunami in southern Asia continues, amid warnings that the death toll could rise significantly.
Relief efforts were hampered early Tuesday by the shutdown of the main airport in Banda Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a key hub for relief flights. The airport has now reopened after a cargo plane blocking a runway was removed. The plane struck a water buffalo while landing.
The overall death toll in the region stands at 145,000, with more than 94,000 of the fatalities in Indonesia. U.N. Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland warns that many villages on Sumatra's low-lying west coast "are gone," sparking fears of a significant jump in the death toll on the Indonesian island.
World leaders are heading for Jakarta in preparation for Thursday's tsunami relief summit. 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.
However, relief officials say in some areas, survivors are ready to rebuild and aid must be prepared accordingly.