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    » 01/01/2005, 00.00

    asia

    Tsunami toll feared at 150,000



    Rome (AsiaNews) - At least 123,171 people are reported dead around southern Asia and as far away as Somalia on Africa's eastern coast killed by massive tsunamis, but the U.N. emergency relief operations coordinator said the death toll was approaching 150,000.

    "The true figure will probably never be known because people are burying the corpses where they find them," said Anjali Kwatra, leader of Sri Lanka's Christian Aid emergency team.

    At least 6,000 Europeans are still missing - most of them presumed dead - after the disaster wrecked beach resorts in south-west Thailand.

    Tonight an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5 shook south-eastern Sumatra on Saturday, sending residents in two cities running in panic from their houses. It was centered beneath the Indian Ocean about 60 kilometers (40 miles) south of the province's capital of Bengkulu. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. Northwestern Sumatra was the hardest hit area in Sunday's earthquake and tsunami disaster.

    Here is the latest death toll per country:

    Indonesia: 80,246.

    Sri Lanka: 28,729.

    India: 8,942.

    Thailand: 4,812

    Myanmar: 90.

    Maldives: 73.

    Malaysia: 66.

    Bangladesh: 2

    Somalia: 200.

    Tanzania: 10

    Kenya: 1.

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    See also

    29/12/2004 ASIA
    A battered continent: An Overview
    According to the latest figures, the death toll stands at 68,000. First rescue operations reach northern Sumatra, in Indonesia where about 3,400 bodies have been found. An overview of the situation in the various affected countries follows.

    27/12/2004 asia
    More than 13 thousand dead after quakes, tsunami smashed southern Asia


    30/12/2004 ASIA - TSUNAMI
    Toll close to 100,000, 5 million displaced


    11/03/2005 asia
    Tsunami death toll now in 170,000-182,000 range


    28/12/2004 asia - sri lanka
    Death toll in Asian disaster passes 26,000

    Officials are warning the figure will rise steeply





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    Francis and Kirill: Orthodox and Catholics united vis-à-vis persecuted Christians and the secularised West



    In the Joint Declaration signed in Havana, the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow emphasise the world’s evils and the need for Christians to bear witness together. Both stand for the natural marriage of a man and a woman, the right to life, and the need for inter-faith dialogue. Both are saddened by the scandal of division, and jointly appeal for an end to religious persecution, for peace in Ukraine and for unity based on "tangible gestures." The full text of the Declaration follows.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


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