“COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Rescuers piled up bodies along southern Asian coastlines devastated by tidal waves that obliterated seaside towns and killed more than 22,000 people in nine countries, and officials indicated Monday the death toll could climb far higher.
Hundreds of children were buried in mass graves in India, and morgues and hospitals struggled to cope with the catastrophe. Somalia, some 3,000 miles away, reported hundreds of deaths.
The death toll rose sharply a day after the magnitude 9 quake struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia. It was the most powerful earthquake in the world in four decades.
Government and aid officials suggested the death toll could increase significantly, citing unconfirmed reports of thousands more deaths on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on India’s Andaman and Nikobar islands.
Walls of water sped away from the quake’s epicenter at more than 500 mph before crashing into the region’s shorelines, sweeping people and fishing villages out to sea. Millions were displaced from their homes and thousands remained missing Monday.
The governments of Indonesia and Thailand conceded that public warnings came too late or not at all. But officials insisted they could not know the seriousness of the threat because no tsunami warning system exists for the Indian Ocean.”
Tragic, just tragic. What else can you say.