A tsunami caused by an underwater earthquake measuring 9.0 off the northern coast of Indonesia has devastated the region and caused 23,700 deaths so far with the toll expected to rise. The major concern at the moment is the spread of disease from rotting bodies and a lack of drinking water and medical facilities. The quake was the largest in the world since 1964.
Sri Lanka was the hardest hit country in the region with a death toll of more than 10,200 that is expected to rise as the days go on. Seven Asian countries and Somalia are among other countries that were most devastated. Southern India lists 6,600 dead and Northern Indonesia have stated 5,000 dead and drowned.
"It smells so bad … The human bodies are mixed in with dead animals like dogs, fish, cats and goats," said Marine Colonel Buyung Lelana, head of an evacuation team in Indonesia's Aceh province on the island of Sumatra.
Indonesian rescue workers pulled hundreds of bodies from treetops, rivers and wrecked homes in Aceh province Monday, desperate to clean up before disease could spread from rotting bodies polluting water supplies.
Volunteers laid children's bodies in rows under sarongs at makeshift morgues. Others were stacked in white fish crates.
"I am hoping there are still enough coffins available," said Mustofa, mayor of Aceh's Bireuen regency. One senior official said the toll in Aceh province could rise to up to 10,000. Deaths were previously put at 3,000.
Michele at A Small Victory has a list of aid organizations that are working with this disaster.
The Command Post has some first person accounts and an updated death toll by country.
The Moderate Voice has some links to some bloggers in the area who are giving first hand accounts.
A gallery of pictures of the destruction.