Around the Indian Ocean, assistance is starting to arrive for the millions of people whose lives were shattered by Sunday's huge earthquake and the tsunamis it spawned. More than 25,000 people are confirmed dead, but more bodies are being found all the time and that death toll could double. In Jakarta,
Three days after the earthquake, the numbers continue to rise inexorably - tens of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, millions of lives shattered.
Rescuers continue to recover bodies in many of the 11 countries hit by the tidal waves caused by Sunday's magnitude 9.0 quake in the Indian Ocean.
Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla says that the death toll may rise to 25,000 people in Indonesia alone. Many parts of northern Sumatra Island, the closest landmass to the quake's epicenter, have yet to be reached by rescuers.
"Certainly the body count in Banda Aceh is very high," said Kevin O'Reilly, who is with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance in Indonesia. "The unknown of course is how seriously the west coast has been affected from Aceh all the way down to north Sumatra, a lot of those areas are out of communications contact and the extent of devastation is still uncertain."
The only contact authorities have made so far with Meulaboh, one of the main towns on that stretch of coast, is a desperate S.O.S. message that time is running out. Food was being air dropped in the area Tuesday.
Sri Lanka was also badly hit and is expecting its death to rise to more than 20,000.
In India, smoke was rising from the beaches of the east coast as the bereaved cremated the thousands of remains of their beloved. New Delhi has deployed the Army in what the government says is its largest peacetime mobilization ever. Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the ruling Congress Party, toured the worst affect communities.
"We'll do all [we] can to support the Army in this exercise of rehabilitation of reaching food, water, medicines to those people who are stranded," said Mrs. Gandhi.
In Thailand, near the resort island of Phuket, more than 200 bodies lay in a Buddhist temple Tuesday. More than 60 percent were foreign holidaymakers.
Bangladesh, the Maldives, Malaysia, Burma and even Somalia on the east coast of Africa; all suffered casualties from the massive tsunamis that fanned out from the quake's epicenter - moving as fast as 1,000 kilometers an hour before smashing into costal into towns and villages, leaving devastation in their wake.