"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.
50,000 CHILDREN DEAD
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
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
"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.