International aid agencies and countries around the world are stepping up efforts to help victims of Sunday's massive earthquake and tsunamis in southern Asia.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says it expects to considerably increase its initial appeal for more than six million dollars in aid. A spokeswoman in Geneva told VOA the revised figure could be five times higher, making this the largest relief effort in at least 40 years.

China says it will send food, tents, blankets and cash to India, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Japan plans to deploy three ships to waters off Thailand to help find those washed away by the tidal waves.

The United Nations emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, says hundreds of planes will soon arrive in the region with supplies.

Mr. Egeland called on countries, organizations and individuals to give generously, saying the tragedy could be the costliest natural disaster ever. He also criticized rich countries for being, in his words, too stingy when it comes to helping the world's poorest.