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Aid Army Struggles to Reach Tsunami Survivors

"The children are getting sick. There is a problem with the toilets, with all this water, with disease."

Teams of Sri Lankan soldiers used tanks, bulldozers and cranes to shift train carriages in which over 1,500 people died when the tsunami struck the coastal express.


The U.N Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated that about 50,000 children had died and tens of thousands were orphaned.

In Aceh, eight-year-old Ulisarati, whose school was destroyed, yearned for some semblance of a normal life.

"I want to go to school. I just want to learn. I will ask my dad to find another school," she said.

"We probably underestimated the impact on children," said UNICEF spokeswoman Wivina Belmonte. "Many people are already talking about the tsunami generation."

World leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as well as Powell, were to meet in Jakarta on Thursday to discuss coordinating the complex relief effort. They will also consider setting up a regional tsunami early warning system.

While the human cost has been terrible, analysts say the economic toll will cause few ripples. The disaster affected mainly coastal areas and fishing and tourism contribute relatively small amounts to the region's economies.

Word that the Paris Club of Western creditor nations was considering a debt moratorium for tsunami-hit countries brought a cautious welcome from Indonesian Finance Minister Jusuf Anwar.

"If the moratorium is attached with complicated conditions, that would be difficult," Anwar told reporters.

Thailand, a relatively wealthy country, has refused financial aid and India has declined assistance.

Nearly 5,200 people were killed on Thailand's Andaman Sea coast and islands. Another 3,800 were listed as missing. Half of the confirmed dead and half of the missing were foreigners.

Switzerland's president said on Tuesday several hundred Swiss people had been killed by the tsunami.

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