More than eight days after the Asian tsunami aid agencies say the global effort to help the victims is starting to make a difference. Indonesia has admitted that it may never know the true number of fatalities, with hundreds of bodies washed out to sea. All efforts are now concentrating on the relief operation. Although airports are bursting with hundreds of tonnes of emergency supplies, aid workers face massive distribution problems outside of Aceh.
For the thousands holed up in makeshift refugee camps in remote areas after roads and airports were washed away, there is no way of reaching them other than by helicopter. The US military began dropping boxes of food and bottled water yesterday. But wild scenes in some places meant deliveries had to be aborted. Nevertheless, US authorities say daily sorties from its carrier Abraham Lincoln, which is anchored off the Aceh coast, will increase from 26 to 32 today.