Volunteers in Thailand have begun the grim task of exhuming hundreds of bodies of tsunami victims because of mistakes made with initial identifications. Authorities say some people quickly identified as Thai and buried may have been foreigners. On Sunday, Thailand increased ten-fold the number of corpses listed as “nationality unknown.”
More than 5,300 bodies have been recovered there but officials say so many were found in the first few days, the situation became confused.
Meanwhile, representatives from at least 30 countries will meet in Geneva today for a conference on how aid money pledged will be spent. Some three billion euros has been promised.
In Indonesia the government has set a seemingly impossible two-week deadline for cleaning up the main towns in the flattened Aceh province – the area worst hit by the giant tidal waves.
Aid operations were briefly suspended yesterday when a US helicopter crashed near the provincial capital.
But relief is getting through and the country’s welfare minister said 24 relocation centres will be up and running within three weeks to look after the thousands of homeless.
Officials said they have buried nearly 50,000 people in Aceh so far despite the heavy rain that is hampering recovery efforts.