A Russian transport plane loaded up by German troops and bound for Indonesia – just one example of what has become a truly global effort to help the tsunami victims. The equipment will be used to set up a field hospital. It comes as the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the world was facing a “race against time” to save thousands of people across South Asia from the threat of disease. The death toll from the disaster is at 150,000.
Health officials warn that unless people in hard hit areas like Indonesia and Sri Lanka get basic services like clean water by the weekend there could be widespread outbreaks of cholera and dysentery. The US military says it has delivered more than 200 tonnes of supplies along the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province.
Remote villages are still proving tough to reach, although helicopters are able to ferry some to the main city, Banda Aceh. Medical teams, from countries like Spain are on hand to give emergency care. Much of the work is being carried out by militaries from around the world. Aircraft and naval ships from the US, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and India are working together. More help is on the way – and for those caught up in the crisis it cannot come soon enough.