Search for Missing Americans Continues in Southeast Asia; 12 Confirmed Dead

December 30, 2004

While the death toll approached 120,000 on Thursday in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunamis that hit Southeast Asia on Sunday, The U.S. State Department continues its efforts to find thousands of Americans unaccounted for.

While exact numbers were not known, State Department officials said some 2,000 to 3,000 Americans are being sought. The State Department also reiterated that some of those presumed missing may be alive and simply have not checked in with American officials on the ground in the countries hit by the destruction.

To date, 12 Americans have been reported killed and officials said the heaviest concentration of Americans is in Thailand.

Thai officials have said that foreigners will not be laid to rest without proper identification, following pictures on television showing mass graves being dug to bury the dead.

A consular affairs task force has been set up by The State Department to help concerned loved ones looking for missing relatives or friends. The toll-free number is (888) 407-4747.

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