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Tsunami death toll nearing 60,000

Sunday’s Tsunami has now claimed close to 60,000 lives, and that number is expected to increase as more affected areas are discovered.

The Tsunami was caused by geologic plates under the Indian Ocean pressing against and under each other, causing a movement on the sea floor that pushed water up and out to form a wall of destruction. The tsunami wreaked massive destruction on the coastal towns, likely killing more than 60,000 and leaving millions of people homeless.

A train in Sri Lanka was lifted off the tracks, and approximately 1000 people that were on the train are now dead or missing.

The countries that were most affected are: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. A total of more than 300 people were killed in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Somalia, Tanzania, Seychelles and Kenya.

Yvette Stevens, UN Assistant Emergency Relief aid coordinator, said the international aid needed for the Indian Ocean was likely to exceed the previous record UN appeal of 1.6 billion dollars for Iraq (news – web sites) last year.

If President Bush is truly looking to do something good for the world, he should be contributing a substantial amount of money to help aid the relief. This could very well be the worst disaster we will see in our lifetime, and the people affected by this disaster are in dire need for assistance from the world’s wealthy economies. I believe the US has already contributed somewhere between 20-40 million dollars so far. I also think that Canada should be pledging as much as they can as well to assist in the relief.

The UN health agency has warned that an epidemic could double the number of deaths if food, water and medicine don’t arrive quickly.

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Yahoo News, CNN, CBC

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