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Bodies pile up as threat of disease grows

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Bodies pile up as threat of disease grows


Thai soldiers have been using gas masks and protective suits as they continue to deal with the mounting pile of bodies.

It is now five days since the undersea earthquake sent a huge tidal surge onto the beaches. Bodies are being stored in Buddhist temples, while authorities appeal for dry ice and formal in to stop them decomposing. In Indonesia the clean-up operation has barely begun. The official toll there is 80,000 dead but the government says it could climb to over 100,000. The quake, measuring nine on the Richter scale, hit the island of Sumatra hardest but claimed victims in 13 countries arching across east Asia as far as Africa. Aid agencies say the greatest threat to life now is not the rotting corpses in the streets but instead disease and infection carried by dirty drinking water. Cholera, typhoid and hepatitis could all begin to take hold. Those most at risk are the estimated one million homeless and at least five million people who do not have the provisions they need to survive.
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