The South-East Asian tsunami death toll is now estimated at 36,954. Consider that for a second or so, and then consider this: it’s feared the toll could rise to 57,000.
Reuters (hit the above link) provides a nation-by-nation count, which it cautions is preliminary:
Sri Lanka: 18,706
That count includes 5,000 dead on islands off India. Reuters also supplies projected totals, which one prays are exaggerated:
Indonesia said its toll could hit 25,000, while Sri Lankan officials warned up to 25,000 people may have died there. Thailand said its toll may exceed 2000.
Only 112 dead foreigners had been identified. They included 22 French people, 13 Norwegians, 12 Britons, 11 Italians and 10 Swedes, 9 Japanese and 8 Americans, as well as tourists from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Taiwan.
UPDATE. Perth reporter (and former blogger) Gareth Parker e-mails an account of the disaster:
Michael Hynes, a British tourist, arrived at Perth International Airport early Tuesday morning, dazed, clutching two carry-on bags, and lucky to be alive.
The London resident was staying in a bungalow at Phuket’s Patong Beach just metres from the shore. Hundreds of people around Thailand’s major beach resorts have been killed.
Mr Hynes escaped with only bruising to his arms where a couple of Thai men had tried to drag him up on to a roof. At a nearby hospital though the scene resembled a war zone.
“The hospital was totally covered in blood,” he said. “They were rolling in dead bodies on pick-up trucks all the time. I saw at least 20 bodies come in.”