07/15/2005, 00.00
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226,000 dead, missing in Indian Ocean tsunami

New York (AsiaNews/JP) -  The deadly tsunami that struck 12 Indian Ocean nations in December inflicted a total of 226,000 dead and missing, the UN said Thursday as it reviewed six months of frantic efforts to assist governments and victims in that region.

The death toll stood at 176,000 and 50,000 people still missing. The UN said the missing cannot be legally declared dead for one year. The largest number of dead and missing were from Aceh, Indonesia.

The review was delivered in a special meeting at UN headquarters in New York, attended by government envoys and former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who has assumed the post of UN special envoy for tsunami recovery.

The tsunami was the result of an undersea earthquake off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province, which sustained most of the devastation in the Indian Ocean. The UN said the tsunami also eroded 97 percent of the gross domestic product of Aceh province, amounting to an estimated US.5 billion in damage.

The Maldives suffered 0 million in damage, or 62 percent of its GDP. Maldives had an annual income of 0 million from tourism. Sri Lanka came in as the third most devastated, with 70,000 buildings completely destroyed.

After the December tsunami, the UN appealed directly for .3 billion to assist countries in the region, and has received .1 billion in pledges. It said 3 million have been spent.

Pledges from banking institutions and governments around the world amounted to .2 billion in addition to the UN appeal. Private donations amounted to billion.

The UN said an estimated 1.1 million people have been displaced by the tsunami and have received shelters. A total of 1.7 million in the region still receive daily food aid.

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See also
Death toll in Asian tsunami disaster passes 168,000
Religious and caste discrimination in government aid distribution in Tamil Nadu
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Tsunami toll could rise to 200,000: UN official
Toll close to 100,000, 5 million displaced


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