The clean-up operation after the Asian tsunamis is underway but in some of the hardest-hit areas of southern Sri Lanka progress is slow, especially as heavy rains hit the region last night.Over 28,500 people on the island were killed in the disaster. Survivors are now having to come to terms with the devastation around them. Shops and markets have been destroyed or damaged and food is scarce. There are also fears of disease, with the World Health Organisation warning that up to 50,000 people could become infected and die. Children are particularly at risk from diarrhoea. In Thailand, teams of forensic scientists, doctors and dentists are working to identify the victims. It is a harrowing task, with tropical heat, flies and makeshift facilities hampering their efforts. The official toll in Thailand has risen to over 4,800 dead and another 6,500 missing. Around half of those lost are foreign tourists. Anxious relatives are being told to stay at home, as there is little they can do to help.
Tsunami survivors face disaster zone conditions