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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Turning the Tide
Aired January 6, 2005 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper in Sri Lanka, along with Paula Zahn in New York.
Tonight, the race to feed the living. Tonight, the race to protect the children of the storm.
A CNN Special Report, Turning the Tide, starts right now.
PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Horror caught on tape. New amateur video showing a man standing on the beach, mesmerized by the draining sea, seconds later, engulfed by the raging tsunami.
So much death, so much destruction. The look of despair in the eyes of so many. Anderson Cooper with the story of one town's undertaker about the daunting task of dealing with the dead.
He won't talk about what happened. All he can do is describe it on a piece of paper. Tonight, death seen through the drawings of an 8-year-old boy with an aching heart.
Two sisters playing on the beach, swallowed whole by a tsunami, unable to hear their father's cries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dominique, Isabelle (ph), where are you, where are you?
ZAHN: Twelve-year-old Isabelle survives, but her older sister is nowhere to be found.
Tonight, little Isabelle shares her story, how she tried to comfort her older sister as the wave yanked them apart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She just screamed, and I told her to calm down.
ZAHN: Man's best friends, left without owners, roaming the ruins, bewildered, dazed, and hungry. Tonight, a look at what animal groups are doing to save the silent victims of this disaster.
We have special reports from the hardest-hit regions. Christiane Amanpour and Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Sri Lanka, Soledad O'Brien in Thailand, and Aaron Brown in Indonesia.
ANNOUNCER: This is a CNN Special Report, Turning the Tide, with Anderson Cooper in Sri Lanka and Paula Zahn in New York.
ZAHN: And good evening. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. Here is what the secretary general of the United Nations said today at an emergency meeting of world leaders in Indonesia. Kofi Annan said, quote, "We will never know the exact magnitude of how many men, women, and children perished on the 26th of December and in the 11 days since then."
But now, he said, the international community must work, and these are his words again, "to stop the tsunami from being followed by a second wave of death from preventable causes."
This is where things stand. Massive loss, massive need, more work to do in more places than can even be imagined.
My colleague Anderson Cooper is in one of those places, where you've seen him over the last several nights, in Beruwala, Sri Lanka. Anderson?
COOPER: Paula, good evening.
As you said, the needs here, the needs all across the disaster zone, great indeed. So many people right now are just returning home for the first times, finding their homes are gone, flattened, finding the people, their loved ones they left behind, had been swept out with the tide.
ITN's Mark Austin has the story of one man and his long journey home in Aceh, Indonesia.
MARK AUSTIN, ITV NEWS (voice-over): Jon Armstrong is heading for the village that was his home. He wasn't sure what to expect, but even in his worst nightmares, he didn't expect this.
JON ARMSTRONG, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR: I don't know what to think. I can't believe it's true.
AUSTIN: The village where he hoped to find his wife's parents, his sisters-in-law, and his nephews and his nieces had simply disappeared.
He'd come with his brother-in-law, Harun (ph), to track them down. This was not a good start.
(on camera): Do you believe what you're seeing here?
ARMSTRONG: No. I don't think it's really hit me, you know. It will probably hit me in a day or so, and I'll think, wow. This is...
AUSTIN: The chances of anybody surviving this?
ARMSTRONG: Well, look at it, man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon!
AUSTIN: A few minutes later, some of Jon and Harun's friends arrive. It is a moment of hope.
ARMSTRONG: This is my best friend from when I used to live here.
AUSTIN: He told us the story of the day the wave came.
ARMSTRONG: He saw the wave in the distance getting closer and closer, and it ended up being three times bigger than those trees you can see in front of you, three times bigger.
AUSTIN: Three times bigger than...
ARMSTRONG: Can you imagine that?
AUSTIN: Well, when you see this, you can imagine it, can't you?
(voice-over): Then another friend emerges, but he's bringing terrible news. He says only 300 people out of 7,000 in the village survived.
Jon's brother-in-law Harun is heartbroken. He's now convinced his parents and the rest of his family are dead.
And this, the locals told Jon, is where most of the bodies are still lying, in rice fields about a mile from the village. Nearby, one of the many mass graves. They'll be digging them for some time to come.
(on camera): Well, Jon accepts that having seen this village, the chances of any more members of his family being alive are pretty slim, but he's determined to try and find out if they have survived.
(voice-over): Two miles away, what few survivors there are have set up camp in the grounds of a mosque. It is a chance, but a small one. Almost immediately, he spots another friend.
But of Jon's wife's family, he has no news.
What he does discover, though, is that one of his brothers-in-law is alive and is living in a house in Banda Aceh. For Jon and Harun, it is the first encouraging sign.
But any glimmer of optimism is short-lived. The word from inside this house is that the rest of the family are missing, presumed dead.
ARMSTRONG: Put two and two together, fear the worst.
AUSTIN: It is the appalling conclusion to a grim journey. But in the villages and towns on this devastated coast of Indonesia, happy endings are extremely hard to come by.
COOPER: So many people wishing for a happy ending here. That was ITN's Mark Austin.
I'm joined by CNN's Christiane Amanpour. You have been looking into the situation of trafficking in children, and how some of the most vulnerable right now are the children. And we are getting some reports that there's some terrible things happening.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are, because these concerns are now spreading like wildfire, and governments around this region, including just now the Sri Lankan government, have cracked down on adoptions of all kind, foreign, local. They even don't want extended families to take children without registering them, because they've received evidence, some of it unconfirmed, some of it anecdotal, but they're very concerned about gangs preying on these children.
Already, this area is known for its sex tourism, I'm afraid to say, pedophilia, in some instances. And now that these children have been separated from their parents, they're even more alone, more vulnerable, and people are getting very concerned, because reports of kids being snatched are spreading around the region.
And so all the governments are cracking down.
COOPER: There's, I know, one report here in Sri Lanka, a Frenchman looking for his children who were allegedly taken. Also later today, we're actually going to be driving out there to try to find -- look into the case of two Sri Lankan kids who were taken, last seen being driven away on a motorbike, and their aunt is desperately looking for them.
Is there anyone actually looking into this problem, or are the police simply overwhelmed?
AMANPOUR: Well, the police are overwhelmed. They're meant to be at the refugee centers, so-called refugee centers, for these displaced people. But it's difficult, but the Sri Lankan government says they're putting guards at all of them. The U.N. is looking into it, UNICEF.
But it is, it's extremely difficult. And you see in the newspapers these missing posters, all these children...
AMANPOUR: ... that the parents are trying to advertise for. As I say, the Sri Lankan government says that so far they have no absolutely confirmed reports of this kind of snatching. But it's -- they're having too much isolated reports, anecdotal evidence, these newspaper ads, and they absolutely want to crack down.
COOPER: Yes, we saw, we saw, actually, this story in a Sri Lankan newspaper the other day. So we'll be looking at it later today and find out if there's any truth at least to this one story.
Christiane, thanks very much for that.
As Christiane mentioned, child trafficking long a problem in this region, particularly in Thailand, where the sex tourism industry has for decades now been a draw for people from around the world.
Soledad O'Brien has been covering the story of the tsunami and its victims and the search for the missing from Phuket, Thailand. She joins me tonight -- Soledad.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, good evening to you.
What, here in Phuket, Thailand, of course, we are 12 hours ahead of East Coast time. And what Christiane spoke about, of course, same concerns here in Thailand as well. Those investigations under way as well here.
A new day dawning, though, and that means a lot of the same, searching for the missing, also trying to put some -- put things back together, the cleanup.
And then also that gruesome but critical task of trying to identify the bodies that are now piled up in the morgues. That is the job of the joint chief of staff of the international disaster relief teams here in Phuket. He oversees some 400 forensic experts, and he says that the bodies that are in mass graves, they will be exhumed so that they can be processed as well.
He said, of course, those bodies were often buried early on in order to stave off the risk of disease.
Later this morning, though, we're going to tell you the story of two sisters, Isabelle and Dominique. One little girl who stayed calm during the tsunami, and her older sister, who panicked. We'll tell you the situation and the impact of the tsunami on their family.
That's a little bit later this evening.
Over at the International Victims Coordination Center, where people register some of the missing names and information about tattoos and things like that, they say the numbers are dwindling, the number of visitors are dwindling. They're thinking about closing down their operations, maybe as early as this end of the week.
Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Soledad, I keep thinking about a story that you did yesterday. You introduced us to a man who is searching every day for his little baby, who was literally ripped out of his arms by the fast- moving water. Has there been any update? I mean, I know there are thousands of stories like it. There are thousands of people around the region looking for their kids. But I keep thinking about this man you introduced us to yesterday.
O'BRIEN: Yes, he's a hard story to get out of your head, heartbreaking. He, of course, Anders Ericsson from Norway, who told us the story about his 2-year-old son who he was holding onto. And when he tried to shift his grip, the boy slipped out of his hands, and that's the last he's seen of him. No update on his situation. He continues every day to see if he can just get information. He seems to sound as if now he's really looking for information about where the boy's body might be. I think he's beginning to give up hope that he will ever find his son alive.
But, no, he has not had any luck at this point, Anderson.
COOPER: And so many of us sort of think, well, you know, we've seen this story, you know, our lives move on. But, of course, for the people affected in this region, for that man and so many parents out there, this disaster does continue.
Soledad O'Brien, thanks very much, from Phuket, Thailand, tonight.
You know, here in Sri Lanka, a lot of businesses are shut down. I mean, this is a resort hotel we're standing in right now that caters to foreign tourists. It's completely shut down right now.
We did find, however, one business where business is doing very well indeed, an undertaker. There are several of them here in Sri Lanka, several of them in towns large and small. And for them, as you're about to see, business is very good.
COOPER (voice-over): One business is booming on the island of Sri Lanka. For the business of death, it's been a very good year.
At the Madam Perry Funeral Parlor, the shelves are all but empty, their 70 caskets sold out last week. "People were running around like crazy, crying, trying to identify the dead," he says. "Bodies were lined up in the courtyard."
Gee Dyaratna (ph) has been in the burial business for 22 years. "I've never seen anything like that before," he says.
Most of their caskets come from a factory that's now closed down because half the workers are dead.
So now, this small funeral parlor makes its own makeshift boxes. They're sawing and nailing eight caskets a day.
Business is good, but in truth, the owners aren't gleeful. They'd gladly return to the normal days of dealing with the dead.
COOPER: A grim but very necessary business these days here in Sri Lanka and throughout the disaster zone.
Let's go back to Paula Zahn in New York -- Paula.
ZAHN: Images there too that are very hard to erase from your memory bank. Survival and guilt, Anderson, a tale of two sisters. You heard Soledad just talking about this. Two teenage girls held onto each other until the ocean split them apart. Soledad will have their story from Phuket, Thailand.
Plus, engulfed by the wave. Some dramatic new video -- look at this -- that shows the power of the ocean's fury. A bird's-eye view one man will never forget.
And there seem to be stray dogs everywhere, hundreds of thousands of them, farm animals on the brink of starvation. Find out what's being done to rescue them.
COOPER: One of our reporters who has been covering this story, really, from the early days of the disaster is our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He has been traveling around Sri Lanka, all over the map, to the west and the east, the north and the south, talking to people, trying to assess what the needs of the people are, and how relief officials and doctors have been responding to those needs.
Tonight, he brings you the remarkable story of a man who is trying to help out thousands of children in need.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty miles from this town on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, Binit Hasarema (ph) is just a boy who wants to go home.
He gets up in the morning, brushes his teeth, runs around with his friends, comes up with ways to pass the time. There are no playgrounds, only an empty field strewn with rubbish and some broken wooden chairs.
He wants to get home, but he's afraid to.
His story began the day after Christmas, when the tsunami wrapped itself around his country. He shares his new home, an open classroom with 25 people from eight different families. They somehow carry their pride and dignity crammed among as many as 1,400 other people in this commandeered school with not enough toilets and no privacy.
Binit is the face of the new normal in Sri Lanka, an already deprived community, now nearly pushed over the edge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what has he been doing in the camp?
GUPTA: He is the child we all want to help, the focus of relief organizations and the outpouring of aid. But what he really wants is his old life back. If you ask him what happened, he won't tell you, but he may draw you a picture like this one. His house, damaged, but not destroyed. Vehicles from his village, now upside down in the water. Daniel Wordsworth is a six-foot-two Australian who is carrying the goodwill of ordinary Americans to Sri Lanka.
DANIEL WORDSWORTH, CHRISTIAN CHILDREN'S FUND: The event called us, really, and the needs of the children and the needs of the families that were here. We woke up on that Sunday morning to that crisis, as did the rest of the world, and basically immediately got into gear.
GUPTA: He is the international program director for the Christian Children's Fund, America's largest children's charity, and he's got $1.5 million donated to spend right now.
But surprisingly, spending that kind of money can be difficult.
(on camera): It's a dilemma as old as the first relief effort. How can foreigners help a domestic crisis? And what do individual Americans who open their wallets to the tsunami victims get for their money?
(voice-over): Wordsworth faces two kinds of devastation in Sri Lanka, the physical and the psychological. Tens of thousands killed, entire neighborhoods erased, lives changed forever.
But as a doctor, I know that it's the emotional trauma that can last long afterwards and cause the deepest scars.
Binit's scars are buried under the crayons on the paper. The figure under the bamboo tree, he says, is his dead father.
I now understood why Binit is so afraid to go back home.
WORDSWORTH: Hundreds of families not willing to go back out of fear, fear that another tsunami will come. It's very critical to actually talk with the children about what they've experienced.
GUPTA: His mother never got the chance to break it to him gently. Binit found out about the death of his father from others at the camp, who described him simply as the boy with no papa.
The Christian Children's Fund uses art therapy to reach children like Binit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So this for him is a way to express what he's feeling at the moment and where his thoughts are.
GUPTA: There's lots of data to show that works well in the States. But in Sri Lanka, many children have never even seen crayons. Foreigners trying to get children to talk about some of their most sensitive issues through art therapy might not work.
DR. NANCY BARON, GLOBAL PSYCHO-SOCIAL INITIATIVES: Children in Sri Lanka don't normally have crayons. They're not normally drawing. A child in a fishing village in Sri Lanka plays in other ways. They have other ways of handling problems. Art therapy would not be appropriate to their culture and their context. GUPTA: The need here is enormous, but complicated. Relief workers are in a hurry.
And somewhere along the way, one child seemed to get a little lost. Binit just needs help getting home. It won't be easy.
I went with Binit as he saw his home for the first time after the tsunami. Their house is still standing. They could move back in right now. But their future is no more certain than those who lost everything. Without the father, they have no means of support.
(on camera): A lot of people want to help. What can they do to help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says she wants to rebuild her home, send her children back to school, and for life to return to normal again.
GUPTA: What's her plan? What's she going to do next week or next month?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says some organizations had promised to give food rations in the coming two months. So it's OK. The food will be provided by them. But after that, she doesn't have any plans. She says, if she had the money, she would start a small business, but she doesn't have any means of starting it.
GUPTA: Why not just take the money and give it to the children?
WORDSWORTH: It really isn't that easy to just give money, because you might be giving it to the wrong person, and then that person won't always be able to see beyond the crisises they're in today, and they won't be able to look at the long-term process of rebuilding their community.
GUPTA (on camera): Long term, it's inevitable that we will become desensitized to this devastation. Our attention will be distracted by some other story. But the wave that has torn so much apart has also brought together an 8-year-old boy and a 38-year-old man.
(voice-over): Daniel Wordsworth says he's here for the long haul. He's been posted to Sri Lanka for the next three years, three years to try and figure out how to help children like Binit, who will be here for the rest of his life.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Abankota (ph), Sri Lanka.
COOPER: Our special coverage continues, Turning the Tide. I'm Anderson Cooper in western Sri Lanka.
I don't know if you can see it. Dawn is just starting to break here, and there you can hear the chanting of Buddhist monks wafting over the rubble. It is a strange sound to hear amidst such devastation.
This disaster is, of course, made by Mother Nature. It's a natural disaster. But in some ways, it resembles a manmade disaster. It resembles a war zone. You see thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of refugees or internally displaced people.
Aaron Brown is at a refugee camp in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, this morning. Let's go there live. Aaron?
AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Anderson.
There are dozens, many dozens of these small camps all over this island now. It's not a very pretty place, as you'll see in a moment. But the truth is, in many respects, it is the most encouraging and uplifting place we've seen in the last week that we've been here.
We walked through it a few moments ago.
BROWN: This is the office to the refugee camp, and it's, as you can see, plastered with pictures of people who are missing up in the corner, 3-year-old Muhammad Youssef Harwan (ph) missing, as are tens of thousands of others in Indonesia. Here, there are 5,500 people who have been found, many of them children, 16 of them, we believe, orphaned. They're living, as you can see, in whatever sort of tent can be set up.
Chinese government medical unit has set up a tent here. This camp is being run by university students, who just got together and set it up. Relief agencies come in a couple of times a day to distribute food and water.
There's Tom. If we can just walk past here a little bit.
In this building up here, a Jordanian medical team has set up a surgical center, and they are doing field surgery, mostly broken limbs, and trying to get people in splints and in casts as best they can.
No one here as any idea how long they will stay here. Many of them, in truth, have no idea how they got here in the first place. But what they do know is that they are here, and that they are being fed, and there is water, and there is attention, and they are a lot better off than many people in Indonesia today for that.
BROWN: Just across the street from where we're standing, literally across the street, UNICEF has set up a small office, where they are trying to figure out who the children are here, who's alive and who's not. The biggest danger in this province right now is not disease, it's not hunger, it's the lack of information. Nobody really knows who's alive and who is not.
And in order to figure out how to get services to people, how to get food and water and medicine and the rest, you first have to know who's there and where there is. Most of the people here came from the area right around the city itself. They have not come from the western villages that were wiped out, the western villages along the coastline, but came from the city, a mile, two miles, three miles in some cases from the water itself.
But they are here. And they are being fed. And that is the best news. It's not great news, but it is the best news that we can offer from here this morning -- Anderson.
COOPER: And we will take that news.
Aaron Brown, thanks very much for that, from Banda Aceh.
It is the same situation here. We'll talk about that coming up. Our special coverage continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Horror caught on tape. New amateur video showing a man standing on beach, mesmerized by the draining sea. Seconds later, engulfed by the raging tsunami.
Man's best friends, left without owners, roaming the ruins, bewildered, dazed and hungry. Tonight, a look at what animal groups are doing to save the silent victims of this disaster.
CNN's special report "Turning the Tide with Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn" will continue in a moment.
COOPER: Welcome back from Sri Lanka. You know, we've been focusing our coverage, as we should, on the millions of people affected by this disaster. But of course, there are millions of animals affected as well. We just want to talk about them for a few minutes tonight.
You see stray dogs, you see stray cats, just about everywhere you go in this part of the world. Even in the best of times, they have a hard, scrabble existence. But these are certainly not the best of times, and for stray dogs and cats and other animals, their lives have gotten very difficult indeed. Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): You see them everywhere on the streets of Sri Lanka, in Indonesia, in Thailand as well, animals orphaned by the storm, hungry and alone. A frightened cat climbed through debris.
A dog, which it appears by his collar, must once have had a home, now barks to keep strangers at bay.
Hey you, hey you. I'm sorry.
They come up on the streets searching for a bite to eat or a familiar face, as we found out firsthand when our broadcast from the beach here in Sri Lanka was interrupted by a persistent stray dog.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are starting to report that the dogs are showing up at the evacuation camps because they're that desperate to find something to eat.
COOPER: Animal rights groups say before the tsunami, there were around 150,000 registered dogs living in homes in India. 75,000 each in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. They couldn't begin to count the number of street animals, though it's safe to say that number has grown.
(on camera): There are dogs everywhere you go. It's -- and they're very persistent. This dog, it looks like its leg, its left paw seems to be broken.
TERRI CRISP, NOAH'S WISH: A lot of street dogs were very dependent on restaurants providing them with scraps as well as tourists from other countries who felt sorry for these animals. So the life that these dogs knew before the tsunami hit was pretty tragic, and, of course, now it's been impacted even more so.
COOPER (voice-over): It's not just cats and dogs displaced by the tsunami, with no food for their families, farmers certainly can't find or afford fodder for their cattle, now starving in fields left bare by the storm.
The people who spend their lives saving animals say they're start to go get help to the tsunami stricken areas, food and vaccinations, veterinarians who volunteer to help. But their help is not always immediately welcomed in places where aid hasn't yet reached desperate people.
CRISP: We've been very, very sensitive to not going in and distracting from efforts that are in place to help people.
COOPER: Still it sometimes pays to remember that, in times like these, all living creatures share one thing, all are in dire need of a helping hand.
CRISP: If we can make sure that animals survive this, I think that that will comfort a lot of people too.
COOPER: And as I've said before, we're on the grounds of a hotel. There's actually a black swan on the pond behind me. You can't see the swan yet. I don't think it's come out this morning. The light is just coming up. But later in the day, we tend to see the swan.
I'm not sure how it gets fed, but you do see it combing the shore looking for scraps, looking for whatever it can find. Just one of the many animals in need in this part of the world.
Of course, the focus is on humans, and there are so many in need. Their stories coming up -- Paula. ZAHN: You know it's interesting, Anderson, when I saw you reaching down to touch that dog the other night, at first I thought it was sweet, and then I was reminded of all these diseases they're so concerned about over there. Have you been worried about that at all? You've gotten close to these animals than just about any other reporter I've seen.
COOPER: Not really. I mean, I didn't have much choice on that one, because that dog basically kept jumping on me. But, you know, no. That sort of -- it wasn't a concern. I'm a big dog person. So, you know, I'll take the risk. I like dogs.
But that is certainly a concern. I mean, you know, obviously these animals...
ZAHN: And we have unfortunately just lost our satellite hook-up with Anderson. But as you can see from his piece, there are some very disturbing reports about what these stray animals are up against now. Some of them are even said to be eating human remains. They are starving and sick.
And now the focus of an actual international relief effort. Gerardo Huerta is with the World Society for the Protection of Animals, and I spoke with him yesterday from London if he was getting ready to leave for Sri Lanka?
ZAHN: What is your chief concern about what might happen to these animals?
GERARDO HUERTA, WORLD SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS: A lot of the animals, and I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of animals, are starving to death in Sri Lanka and many other places. My mission is going to be to determine the needs of those animals, being domestic, companion animals, and farm animals, and seek that they survive. These might be the only survival means those human survivors will have in the future.
ZAHN: You're talking about the people being dependent upon these animals, helping them eke out their livings?
HUERTA: Yes. And in addition to their farm animals, a lot of those people who we're talking about might have lost everything, and they might only have their pets to go to for comfort. And this is very important. Just as farm animals would be for the post traumatic stress of such a huge drama in Asia.
ZAHN: But there's a very tough balance you have to strike here because people are very concerned that many of these stray and starving animals that you're talking about are also carriers of diseases. 100,000 dogs alone in Sri Lanka killed last year, because of rabies.
HUERTA: The W.H.O. has long time -- for a long time proved that killing dogs for fear of rabies doesn't really do the trick. You need to immunize, to vaccinate a lot of animals to form a barrier, a natural barrier, and we expect to mount, if I may use the term, serial veterinary teams that will run the island up and down, vaccinating all dogs, not only feeding them. So we want to really work closely with the authorities there to do it right.
ZAHN: Obviously, we all understand what you're trying to do in your hearts, but realistically, you've got people who are starving, you've got dogs that are starving. How realistic is it that you can pull off this plan you're talking about?
HUERTA: We've done it for the last 20 odd years. And it has proven to be really good for the communities involved. Every time, time after time, in Latin America, where my experience lays, and places like Kosovo or Afghanistan, they are always thankful, thank us for our efforts. And the good thing is that we have about 500 organizations around the world pulling for us and pulling their resources and expertise. So it's not just us. It's a lot of people behind us.
ZAHN: We wish you tremendous luck. Mr. Huertas, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
And one of the animal stories we've been following from Thailand has had a bittersweet ending. The dolphin -- or this one, in particular -- was rescued yesterday after the tsunami stranded her and her calf in a filthy lagoon in Khao Lak. The dolphin was carried out of the swamp and taken to the shore where it was released back into the sea. Her calf has not been found.
Still to come, hit by the wave. A look at what happened when the tsunami struck a popular beach resort. Plus two very close sisters pulled apart by the wave. One lives, the other does not. A story of survivor's guilt.
And Helping Hands. The Wunderbar (ph) boys to the rescue. Instead of partying all night, they are actually helping out those in need.
ZAHN: Probably one of the most frightening images of the tsunami I have seen, and we have seen a lot of these pictures. But perhaps nothing has captured the sheer power and horror of it all than an amateur videotape taken in Khao Lak, Thailand. Wolf Blitzer has gotten a hold of it. Here's his report.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is what is left of Khao Lak, a luxury resort area just north of Phuket Island along the Andaman Sea. It is estimated that 30,000 people were here when the tsunami struck, many of them international tourists. A local restaurant owner got advance word of the tsunami from his brother who was in an area that had already been hit.
He had time to set up a camera in his third floor restaurant. His pictures show the huge wave rolling in. They also show a lone figure standing on the beach, apparently transfixed by the spectacle.
ANUKUL CHARDENKUL, WITNESS: We have to try to tell that guy in the water before they're running up. I make my voice very, very loud, run!
BLITZER: The shouted warnings had no effect. In a matter of seconds, the fast-moving wave engulfed that person and others on the beach as the restaurant owner and his customers looked on, helplessly.
CHARDENKUL: Yes, I saw them and all the people in the restaurant tried to tell them, run, get up, quick! But, I think the building is very high, tall. It is very far from the water, from the building. They cannot hear. They looked at the restaurant but nothing happened.
BLITZER: The wave slammed into the shore, churning and swirling. Later, they receded, leaving behind debris and death. The man who recorded the images said he hopes that if another tsunami ever strikes the resort, there will be a better way to warn people.
CHARDENKUL: I think we can save a lot of people when we have something to tell them first.
BLITZER: Wolf Blitzer, CNN, Washington.
ZAHN: As you might expect, survivors are trying to block out those horrific images of the waves crashing in. As you can imagine, that's not going to be such an easy thing.
Coming up next, locals helping locals. Boys who love to party put down the bongos and pick up much needed supplies.
Plus survivor's guilt, a sister's grief. Soledad O'Brien has that story.
COOPER: I was just talking with my colleague Paula Hancocks about how so much of the relief effort in the early days of this disaster has been local people, neighbor helping neighbor, families helping each other get through the worst of this storm. You just found a story about sort of some local party guys -- I guess they're bar owners -- who have been really pitching in to help.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. It really brought it home to me just how much neighbors are helping neighbors. I heard about this wunderbar (ph) a couple of towns down the road. It's got a lot of German tourists there, as you might imagine with a name like wunderbar. It wasn't very popular with the locals. It used to go on all night. The locals didn't get along very well with them. What's happened over here really has shown how barriers have been broken down. These young boys obviously aren't taking care of this bar anymore. They're actually cooking food for the refugee camps.
I went down to meet them, and it was amazing to see just how much effort they're putting into the effort to help these tsunami victims.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): A week and a half ago, this would have been a typical site sight at Bentota's (ph) Wunderbar, a 24-hour bar in southern Sri Lanka packed with tourists and frowned upon by some of the locals.
But music has been replaced by cooking. The boys who loved to party all night now slave over a hot stove until the early hours, and deliver the food to the neighboring refugee camps. Locally organized, internationally funded, the Wunderbar boys have joined a private fund- raising group, Rebuilding Sri Lanka, to help the tsunami victims.
CHAN GUNATILTAKA, OWNER, WUNDERBAR (through translator): We come here and help people. Today we distribute 1,500 rice packets. I help every person, whatever it is, Sri Lankan, or Tamil or Muslim, no matter.
HANCOCKS: A local refugee camp calls the group asking for mattresses for the babies to sleep on. Twenty minutes later, mattresses from the local hotel are being collected.
The owner says he desperately wants to help. All he and others need is someone to tell them how. Just hours after the request for mattresses come in, they arrive at the refugee camp.
I am told there is enough food and water in this camp, but the scramble for the food this van has to offer tells a different story.
Rebuilding Sri Lanka wants to take the relief process to the next level, albeit still a basic level of care and comfort.
This camp has just two working toilets between hundreds of people. The group wants to help the refugees to help themselves, rebuilding their houses, restoring their independence. For that, they need money, more money than a local initiative has. Many are asking where the international aid organizations are.
PRIYANTRA GUNAWARDENA, REBUILDING SRI LANKA: But I think they are actually too slow, because they have to plan very well, and they have to help right now, because they are talking, and I think maybe they will help. But it's getting too late now.
ZAHN: Certainly, their efforts are going to have a great deal of impact on others watching out there. And so many survivors, as you probably can imagine, have guilt, wondering why they lived, why they were spared.
Well, coming up next, a sister's pain, left to wonder why she survived. Soledad O'Brien brings us that part of the story.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: You know, in the last two weeks or so, you've no doubt heard a lot of reporters, probably myself included, saying, you know, this survivor was the lucky one. They survived. But what we're hearing more and more now, especially among the children who survived, is that many of them, some estimates say as many as half the children who survived this, may experience some form of post-traumatic stress. They have to deal with the guilt that, in some cases, they survived while their brothers or sisters or parents did not.
Soledad O'Brien is in Phuket, Thailand. She has the story of one little Dutch girl who did survive, but she's dealing with the guilt because her sister did not -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Well, Anderson, nobody really knows exactly how the children will deal with the trauma that they have experienced. Some survivors tell us that they will never forget the sight of that wall of water rushing toward them, or the sound of people screaming as they tried to get out of the way of the tsunami.
But, you know, children are so resilient, and maybe that is what's going to help little Isabelle De Vries deal with all of this.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): This is the story of a tiny island, a courageous little girl, and a family's determination.
Come close to Phi Phi island. Its majesty takes you back in time. Come closer, the rock gives way to sandy beach. But when Robin De Vries came on shore, he saw only jarring commercialism.
ROBIN DE VRIES, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR: We thought we went to a little paradise, and so the first impression when we got there, oh, my God.
O'BRIEN: But to his 12-year-old daughter Isabelle, the island was perfect.
ISABELLE DE VRIES, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR: Beautiful water, beautiful beach. And the hotel is beautiful also. And I always liked the swimming pool. And it was really big and beautiful. That's -- yeah, that's what I call paradise.
O'BRIEN: Isabelle's 17-year-old sister, Dominique, agreed. And the Dutch family checked into the Cabana Hotel.
(on camera): The next morning Robin De Vries stood on the balcony. It was a beautiful day. He watched his two daughters frolic in the calm and shallow water, and he thought, maybe this is paradise.
R. DE VRIES: I was sitting, and it was a lovely sight. We were sitting next to each other with the foot in the water, just so quiet.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Then, the tsunami. The girls' mother saw it in the distance.
INGRID DE VRIES, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR: I saw it coming. I thought it was an ordinary wave. And I called my daughters, say, come on. Let's go. But, no, they wanted to stay and catch the wave. So OK, why not? I think it's an ordinary wave.
ISABELLA DE VRIES: Then we started to run, but we still thought it was fun. So we were laughing. And then it was really fast.
O'BRIEN: In an instant, the girls were gone. Frantically, Ingrid called out to her husband.
INGRID DE VRIES: I was screaming at him. "The girls, the girls. I don't see them anywhere. The waves took them. And what's happening?"
O'BRIEN: The first wave slammed Isabelle and Dominique into the beach. Isabelle stayed calm, but her older sister panicked.
ISABELLE DE VRIES: She didn't say anything. She just screamed. And I told her to calm down. That, you know, the only thing.
O'BRIEN: Then, the second wave hit, and the girls were yanked apart.
ISABELLE DE VRIES: And then, at myself, I thought, oh my God, is this my life? I'm going to die today, you know.
O'BRIEN: Isabelle's parents, standing together on the balcony, were also torn apart.
R. DE VRIES: I remember saying to my wife, give me your hand, and it was in a split second, and I went with the water right through the glass door, the sliding door, and right through the back door, so right through the room in a few seconds.
O'BRIEN: The wave shoved Ingrid underneath the bungalow, choking and gasping for air.
INGRID DE VRIES: I thought, well, I could scream, or I could get very panicked, but it doesn't matter. I am going to die now. So stay calm, and I thought they were already drowned. So I thought, well, at least you are with the girls now. So I was very quiet. I let myself go.
O'BRIEN: Then, as fast as it came, it was over. The water, at one point as high as the second floor, receded.
R. DE VRIES: I was walking, limping, and I was calling for the girls. Dominique, Isabelle, where are you? Where are you? Half crying.
O'BRIEN: Dominique was nowhere to be found. Isabelle, injured, swam to a boat offshore. Ingrid was squeezed onto a crowded rescue flight, and Robin left the island only after darkness made his search impossible.
(on camera): They were taken to three different hospitals. Each one unaware the others had made it. Three days later, Isabelle, who thought she was her family's sole survivor, was reunited with her parents.
ISABELLE DE VRIES: It feels -- yeah, I was happy, and yeah, my father was, yeah, crying, so I thought, oh my God, you know. And I wanted to cry too, but I didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's better to be around here instead of being around home.
O'BRIEN: With the family still recuperating, Isabelle's uncle, Eric (ph) De Vries, came from the Netherlands to hunt for Dominique (ph). He posted her photo with so many others at the makeshift disaster center in Phuket, the provincial capital.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody hopes for the same. These pictures are everywhere.
O'BRIEN: The computer lists seem as endless as the posters. The Thai government tallies nearly 4,000 still missing.
Eric's search took him across the island and through the hospitals and the most gruesome, sifting through photos of the dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbearable, because you can hardly recognize. they're like this. Your eyes are coming out of there almost exploding. I have seen hundreds of pictures trying to identify my niece.
O'BRIEN: On Phi Phi Island, bodies have washed up on shore. Others are discovered crushed under De Vries. Each day, a small army of cleanup workers comes from the mainland like soldiers collecting casualties from a battlefield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went to Phi Phi Island. It's now a paradise.
O'BRIEN: The De Vries family hopes that Dominique (ph), who is half-Indonesian, had been taken in by a Thai family, that she was unconscious, unable to say her name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know this is hope and this is reality. She could be in the water
O'BRIEN: Isabelle believed her sister would be found alive. Through it all, she's been surprisingly calm. Again, her courage helps her face what lies ahead.
INGRID DE VRIES: I'm very proud of her, that she's so brave.
O'BRIEN: Still, there's the guilt over not saving her sister, not being strong enough to conquer the waves.
ISABELLE DE VRIES: Yes. Sometimes, I thought I had to pull her hand and I had to be with her all the time, but I couldn't be with her anymore.
O'BRIEN: Isabelle will soon go home and leave behind this island's tragic stories, stories now told through what's left, belongings scattered and trampled, hotels gutted and abandoned, lives and livelihoods destroyed, all in a flash in a place that, to one 12- year-old girl, looked like paradise.
O'BRIEN: Since we filed that piece, we have got some news about Dominique (ph). A Dutch forensics team has identified her remains with the use of dental records. Her body was found in a morgue in a Buddhist temple. It had been there since the day after the tsunami -- Anderson.
COOPER: Soledad, you know, we hear there are thousands of Americans unaccounted for and thousands of other people as well. Are there many bodies that haven't been identified that are in morgues or in temples around Thailand or are these people simply missing? How many bodies are there actually that haven't been accounted for and how many missing people are there?
O'BRIEN: That's sort of the big question.
It is impossible to say, but, yes, and that is the monumental task, in fact, Anderson, that lies ahead for the forensics team, 400 forensics experts now on the ground just here in Phuket alone. And their job is to try glean any bit of information that they can from the survivors and the relatives who came in, tattoos, earrings, piercings, things like that, and also giving samples of their DNA, and try to then match that with some of these remains.
And, to be blunt, they're in horrific condition. DNA testing, as you well know, could take four or five months. So, I have to imagine it is going to be a long and, frankly, terrible road ahead for those who are still waiting for news, unlike the De Vries family.
COOPER: And just a terrible wait, it is.
Soledad O'Brien, from Phuket, Thailand, tonight thanks very much, Soledad.
I'm joined by CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.
You have covered these disasters, wars more than probably anybody in the world. Do you ever get used to seeing children in need like this?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, not at all.
And Listening to Soledad's story, it is just heart-wrenching. How can you have two sisters, one who probably for the rest of her life is going to feel the guilt of not being able to hold on to the other one?
But this whole idea of the numbers of people who are being found, just here in Sri Lanka, two more bodies of foreign tourists were found yesterday, raising the number of the death toll there to about 117 foreign tourists, this 11 days after the tsunami. They may never know, they say, exactly how many people perished.
COOPER: And some of these people are just -- they just disappeared. They're taken out to sea and they're never going to be found. I keep trying to figure out, you know, is there a place where there are bodies which have not been buried which are waiting to be identified and I think the answer is no.
AMANPOUR: It seems no, because most people have gone...
COOPER: At least here.
AMANPOUR: At least here, exactly.
I'm sure in Aceh and some of these really devastated places, they will still be excavating for a long time. But this numbers situation, many people have said that we may just never know, because there are so many extended families. There are so many people who are just missing who just haven't been found, others who are missing, but turned up again and nobody has really alerted the authorities. There's just so much mystery about the final numbers.
COOPER: I know here in Sri Lanka, they have -- when they were burying people in mass graves, they would try to photograph them and in most cases fingerprint them.
But there were also babies who would wash ashore and would just be buried on the spot by local villagers.
AMANPOUR: That's right.
COOPER: And those people, their names will never be on a list.
AMANPOUR: That's right.
And certainly we've seen, I'm sorry to say, shovel-loads of bodies going into mass graves with -- I'm sorry -- I didn't see any fingerprinting or anything. So there's a lot of uncertainty about just how many people have perished.
COOPER: And that uncertainty, for parents or family members, is just -- it's agonizing.
Christiane, we'll talk to you a little bit later on in the broadcast -- Paula.
ZAHN: Thanks, you two.
And across the disaster zone, so many people are in need of healing and there are so many compelling personal stories left to tell.
Our CNN correspondents are throughout the region bringing you the stories you're not going to see anywhere else, some of them inspiring, others absolutely heartbreaking.
In just a few minutes, a family talks about the end of their frantic, weeklong search for their missing daughter.
But we begin this hour by updating you on the latest developments. We keep getting stunning pictures from the day the tsunami hit. This one is absolutely chilling, recently released. And it reveals amateur video showing the wave hitting Thailand, completely engulfing that man you just saw who seemed to be unaware standing on the beach.
As of today, the death toll count is more than 155,000. Hundreds of thousands of survivors still face shortages of food, clean drinking water and medicine. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrapped up an emergency summit conference of donor nations by saying the recovery effort will require nearly $1 billion by the end of June.
So far, more than $3 billion has been pledged by nations all over the world. In addition, the Pentagon says the U.S. military is spending about $6 million a day on relief operations.
And in a disturbing development, U.S. officials say they're watching an Islamist group suspected of ties to al Qaeda which has set up its own relief camp in Indonesia's Aceh Province on Sumatra Island. The group, which is blamed for killing Christians, is said to be collecting horses, distributing food and spreading Islamist teaching.
There's much more ahead with Anderson and Aaron Brown on assignment in the region. The last house, the last signs of life and what used to be a small town, what it tells us about the way life used to be.
And children like these longing for their parents. We'll show you what's being done to reunite them.
And U.S. Marines tackling huge hurdles. They're moving hundreds of tons of supplies faster and farther.
All that and more coming up in this hour.
ZAHN: Life continues to be an enormous struggle for the survivors.
Thailand's military is now bringing in specially trained teams of dogs and elephants to the country's devastated beaches to help locate the dead and clear away the De Vries. Coming up next, the awful process of identification.
And, from Phuket, Thailand, Aneesh Raman joins us with a story of one family's search that has now ended painfully -- Aneesh.
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, that's right.
Words simply do not describe what it is like for the family members of the missing who are here searching for their loved ones. Yesterday, we spoke to one American family yesterday who had to do just that.
RAMAN (voice-over): Amidst this piercing silence is the unthinkable end to an unimaginable journey. For the past week, Americans Rong Shi (ph) and Yun Sun (ph) have frantically searched every hospital and then every morgue in southern Thailand for their 25-year-old missing daughter, Hannah, scanning picture after picture of the dead.
RONG SHI, FATHER OF TSUNAMI VICTIM: You have to spend the whole day look at one by one and thinking about, which one is my daughter? That's the most difficult thing to do for parents like us.
RAMAN: It took six days to find Hannah and in the end it came down to a detail only a parent's eye could catch.
SHI: Yes, they would spend a whole day for review, 650 something pictures. We have to narrow it down to 10. And we found one, my daughter, Hannah, two (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on left ear. We found (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
RAMAN: The Hannah they knew was no more. She was now photo number 445, a detail in this incomprehensible disaster.
SHI: This morning 9:00, we sent to temple. Only for 15 minutes, they confirmed.
RAMAN: There is nothing pleasant about grief and on this day passing moments become permanent memories.
SHI: The Christmas evening here time and 11:00 in the morning in New York, that's the last time I talked to her.
RAMAN: Hannah was vacationing on the Phi Phi Island when the tsunami came. It was her first Christmas away from home. Rescuing Hannah from this hellish grave is all her parents can think to do.
SHI: Bring her back to New York. She loves New York. She told us many times she missed us, missed the family, missed New York. She grown up in New York. She had a lot of friends in New York. We should bring her back to New York. That's her wish.
RAMAN: The week that began with a frantic search for a missing daughter and the day that began with the confirmation of her death now ends with parents boarding a plane to bring Hannah home.
RAMAN: And, Paula, this is just one story of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of others. So, while the physical damage from the tsunami waves is regional, the emotional devastation is nothing short of global. ZAHN: Aneesh, it was so shattering to be exposed to this family's grief. And I know that there's got to be some bitterness in them at this hour. Who do they hold responsible for their dear daughter's death?
RAMAN: The anger is so understandable for a family that, in the past week, has seen things that no human should have to see.
They told us that they would rather their daughter remained missing and they would have had some glimmer of imagination, as the father put, that she was still out there alive. So, the anger they have is really directed amorphously at the governments in the region. They cannot comprehend why no warning existed.
And a part of the reason as to why they let us in so early in this grieving process was to show the world what they went through, so that no other daughter would suffer a similar fate as Hannah.
ZAHN: And a lot of people in New York know this family, knows what a tight bond they all had.
Aneesh, thank you very much for bringing that to us.
Now on to Indonesia. In some places, entire villages are gone, vanished, all but washed away.
ITV correspondent John Irvine has found a place where there is only one house still standing.
JOHN IRVINE, ITN REPORTER (voice-over): It may look like a cinematic image, but it is not. It is a view of the center from a window in this, the last house still standing on the way down to the sea. Between this dwelling on the coast, where before Boxing Day, there was a thriving community, there is now just wilderness and decay.
It is a huge acreage where the tsunami was at its most thorough. We feel compelled to keep coming back to this area to try to bring home what's befallen these homes and their inhabitants. In the last house lived a family of five. The eldest child was a teenage pop fan, the other two had bedrooms side by side, pink for a girl, blue for a boy.
He was a soccer fan. We find a family photograph album lying open, a chronicle of three generations. There were wedding pictures, births had been recorded, as were religious ceremonies. And the most poignant was this, a seaside snap.
(on camera): They probably had only a few seconds to decide what to do. From what we can tell, they rushed upstairs to seek refuge in this corner of the house. They were extremely unlucky, for it is the only piece of the building that collapsed under the weight of water.
(voice-over): We have no miracle to report, for we find the parents' bodies in the rubble, their hands reaching out to each other in death. What happened to the children, we don't know, but the way the bodies are stacking up here, the odds must be stacked against them.
Eleven days on, and this city is still littered with dead people. The problem is not the speed of collection, it is the enormity of the task.
(on camera): Walking 100 yards, I've counted more than 40 bodies, trussed up on both sides of the road. And remember, these are just the corpses that the soldiers could find, the visible ones. How many more bodies must lie dead and buried under the mud and De Vries of homes, factories, shops, schools and hospitals.
(voice-over): When you look at the destruction, its enormity, it is incredible that anyone got out alive. We talked to a boy who was carried more than a mile and survived by clambering onto this balcony. That said, in terms of immediate family, 14-year-old Aris (ph) is now alone in the world. He lost his parents and four siblings. The house he'd scrambled onto belongs to a doctor, a retired G. P. with three children of his own. He has now adopted Aris as his fourth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He is the same as his other child. No difference.
IRVINE (on camera): So he is like your son now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, yes.
IRVINE (voice-over): Understandably, they are trying to keep the boy busy, but often, even during our brief time here, he lapsed into a thousand yard stare as his young mind tried to contemplate what is bereavement beyond belief.
John Irvine, ITV News, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
ZAHN: ITV correspondent John Irvine in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
When Anderson and I come back, a look at one of the most heartwarming efforts, reuniting children with their parents.
Please stay with us.
COOPER: The situation here in Sri Lanka has been bad. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives, but nowhere is the situation worse than it is in Banda Aceh.
And that's where we find Aaron Brown tonight -- Aaron.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, thank you.
We are outside a refugee camp, very much a makeshift refugee camp that is being run by university students and their professors.
Jeliteng Pribadi was an economics professor two weeks ago and he's a refugee camp director today. And he's with us.
My Indonesian isn't very good, so we'll do this in English, as best we can.
JELITENG PRIBADI, REFUGEE CAMP DIRECTOR: OK.
BROWN: They found you, in a sense. People flooded here, because we're on relatively high ground, and you decided you had to do something, basically, right?
PRIBADI: Yes, you're right.
When the tsunami came here, in the very beginning of the day, like, first until the fourth day, we just helped people inside the city, take the dead body, other some people still alive to the doctors, to the hospitals. And after the fourth day, start from the fifth day, we still to be focused, who we need to help? Do we still in there in the city to collect the dead body or we just help the people who still alive?
BROWN: Just a couple -- how much better are things now than they were a week ago here?
PRIBADI: Here. It's just around 1,500, but now it's well into 2,000 people here.
BROWN: You have medicine enough here?
PRIBADI: Right now, we have so many donation from other countries, from other organizations, like from Mercy, from International Red Cross. But, in the very beginning of the day, until -- the first week here, we still have no -- even for like Betadine, alcohol, we have not enough medical.
BROWN: Just a final question. Can you imagine a time when things will be normal again?
PRIBADI: No. I don't think we will have normal condition in one or two months after the tsunami. And even for six months, I don't think we will have normal condition again like before.
BROWN: Thank you.
PRIBADI: OK. You're welcome.
BROWN: Thank you.
One of the tasks here is to figure out, literally figure out who is here, who survived it, who did not. Foremost among that task is reuniting children and parents. UNICEF has set up an office here.
Atika Shubert -- it's literally across the street. Atika Shubert has been over there to report on their efforts pretty much.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Aaron.
UNICEF feels it is very important that children are able to stay, if not with their immediate family, with their extended family, or at least with the community they feel comfortable with. So one of the things we're doing is trying to identify and register all the tens of thousands of displaced children. We followed them around yesterday.
And here's what we found.
SHUBERT (voice-over): Children play amid the wreckage while a government teams picks its way through. Their mission, to identify children whose parents have gone missing in the disaster.
Together with United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, the government is trying to register tens of thousands of displaced children in the hope they can be reunited with family.
ANANDA MELVILLE, UNICEF: It's to try to prevent not only the issue of trafficking of children, but also to prevent very well- meaning people taking the children and putting them in institutions in other countries or in other parts of Indonesia where -- and without -- and later it could be very hard to find them.
SHUBERT: In each camp, the faces of the missing are plastered everywhere, most of them, children. Parents line up at UNICEF, clutching pictures of their sons and daughters.
(on camera): In this camp, there are makeshift shelters and there are makeshift families. In these two tents, a hobbled together community of neighbors who have lost their homes, mothers who have lost their children, and children who have lost their parents.
(voice-over): Twelve-year-old Igbal was registered with UNICEF by Khaidir Stamsul. They seem like father and son. But it was only by chance that Igbal was away from his family, playing near Khaidir's home when the tsunami struck. It saved Igbal's life, but his family is gone. Khaidir has taken him in.
"We're his parents as long as he's in this camp," he tells us. "We don't allow him to be left alone in silence, and my kids like him. Honestly, I couldn't give him away now even if someone wanted to adopt him."
While other children play, Igbal seems pensive. He says he wants to be a soldier when he grows up, not a doctor, as Khaidir suggests. The reason is understandable.
"I don't want to do that. I'm afraid of the ghosts from all of those dead bodies," he says.
Despite their smiling faces, the ghosts that will surely haunt these children for years to come. (END VIDEOTAPE)
SHUBERT: Now, it's hope against hope to try and reunite these families, Aaron. There are so many orphans and so many parents looking for missing children. But the good news is, a lot of these Acehnese communities are taking in these orphans, so at least they're not completely on their own.
BROWN: Do the aid workers feel that -- here, we'll raise that up just a little bit.
BROWN: Do the aid workers feel that the world's attention will stay here long enough to get the work done?
SHUBERT: Well, that's certainly what they're hoping.
There's a very desperate need here. And one of the things that UNICEF has pointed out is that the reason why it's so important to register and identify these children is because one of the problems down the line could be something like child trafficking. This is a situation where traffickers exploit the situation, exploit those children. And it's important to identify, register and get those children into communities that are safe for them before the traffickers get to them.
BROWN: It's actually -- it's one of the difficult parts of the story, is to know how much of that is actually happening and how much that is just fear of it happening -- Paula.
ZAHN: Aaron, I wanted to ask you what else you could share with us about the conditions at these camps. You spent the better part of the day at the one you are reporting from now.
BROWN: Were you able to hear? The condition of the camps generally?
SHUBERT: The conditions are a lot better now than they were.
Just when I first got here, actually, a week ago, it was quite chaotic. Now there is certainly order. Sanitation is a lot better. But it still needs to be improved. The risk of disease is still there. And so a lot of help still needs to come in.
BROWN: Just to give you an idea, they -- we're, what, 10, 11 days since the tsunami hit. They just got sanitation facilities at this camp yesterday.
So, it's -- it's pretty rugged living here, but they are living. And they are being fed. And that's encouraging for them -- Paula.
ZAHN: Aaron and Atika, thanks.
Coming up, the world responds with an outpouring of aid. How marine muscle is playing a big part in relief operations. Then, born of the tsunami, a tiny child brings happiness and hope where there was none.
ZAHN: Welcome back. Coming up in this half hour, the race is on in Sri Lanka. The good natured, good-hearted race to help as many as possible. And a little bit later, a sign that life does go on. In this case, a brand new life. The start of a new generation.
But, first, let's catch up on the day's most significant stories from outside the tsunami zone.
Seven U.S. soldiers were killed today when their armored personnel carrier struck a roadside bomb. The Pentagon has released few details other than to say the soldiers were part of a task force in Baghdad, which is made up largely of troops from the army's 1st Cavalry Division.
Andrea Yates lawyers say they won't try to have her removed from a prison psychiatric ward even though a Texas appeals court overturned her murder conviction today. Yates drowned her five children in 2002. She'll get a new trial because a prosecution witness gave false testimony.
Attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales withstood a day of very tough questions at his confirmation hearing. Gonzales served as White House counsel during the president's first term and wrote memos about the handling of terror suspects. He told senators he does not approve of torture, but acknowledged he made mistakes in the war on terror.
And tonight, on to our CNN "Security Watch," which focuses on a threat that may be as close to you as the nearest railroad crossing. A scary reminder of just how close that danger was this morning when chlorine gas leaked from a derailed tank car near Aiken, South Carolina. Eight people died. The fumes sent about 200 people to the hospital. More than 5,000 people were ordered to leave their homes. Well, that accident underscores fears that the nation isn't ready to handle an attack aimed at similar shipments of hazardous materials. David Mattingly has that story.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My eyes were burning insationably (ph) and my throat felt like something just pulling at it.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It only took a matter of minutes to send Curtis Mitchell (ph) and others to the hospital gasping for breath and fearing for their lives. But the deadly train wreck and chemical spill was a potentially big disaster ultimately limited by its location in rural South Carolina. A more densely populated area and an attack, not an accident, could have been devastating according to former deputy homeland security adviser, Richard Falkenwrath.
RICHARD FALKENWRATH, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: The regulations so far have not really focused on the possibility of a deliberate attack against a hazardous material shipment through a city.
MATTINGLY: Falkenwrath advocates stronger containers, better tracking and where possible, rerouting to avoid larger populations. The industry, however, points to sweeping improvement since 9/11. Restricting access, more inspections and more patrol. Systems aimed at reducing risk. Association of American Railroads President Edward Hamberger calls the rail industry's 200,000 employees the eyes and ears of a security effort. But even with so many people watching, accidents still can happen and no one in this small mill town saw it coming. David Mattingly, CNN, Graniteville, South Carolina.
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ZAHN: Another story that caught our attention today puts a sharp focus on a crisis you've grown familiar with, perhaps, even maybe complacent about. Former South African President Nelson Mandela announced that his son died from AIDS. While we get daily, sometimes hourly updates on the death toll of the Asian tsunami, the AIDS epidemic, especially in Africa, remains a far greater killer, as is the world's indifference.
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ZAHN (voice-over): Makgatho Mandela was 54 years old and had grown up separated from his father, who spent 27 years in prison. The announcement gave a very personal face to the tragedy of AIDS in Africa which Nelson Mandela has been urging his country to confront head on.
NELSON MANDELA, FORMER SOUTH AMERICAN PRESIDENT: I had no idea when I started this campaign a few years ago that it will also affect a member of my family. I was stating a general principle. Therefore, we must not hide because of death in our respective families.
ZAHN: Families are often ashamed of the relatives who often have AIDS and so the problem gets a lot less public attention than other tragedies like the highly visible tsunami disaster dominating the news. The tsunami death toll is at 155,000, but there are more than 25 million cases of HIV in Africa and Africans are dying of AIDS at an astounding rate of more than 2 million per year.
The tsunami crisis was so sudden and the damage so obvious that the response was from around the world has been immediate. Today, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain tried to give donors a nudge towards AIDS relief.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The tragedy of the tsunami was through the force of nature. The tragedy of Africa is through the failure of man. There is the equivalent of a manmade preventable tsunami every week in Africa.
ZAHN: But unlike a tsunami, AIDS brings death slowly and silently, taking people one by one, even the son of a president.
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ZAHN (on camera): In case you were wondering about AIDS here in the United States, about 40,000 people a year test positive for HIV, that is the same number as just about ten years ago. The government believes about 1 million Americans have the virus.
Coming up next, we will send in the marines and a look at how one sergeant and his unit are doing their part in the massive relief effort.
Then from deep inside the disaster zone, a message to the outside world. From the pen of a young survivor. An amazing story when we come back.
COOPER: The outpouring of interest and concern about this story has been tremendous around the world, but so far countries have pledged more than $3 billion in disaster aid. Just today U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that as much as $1 billion will be need in the next six months alone.
Now, early on in this disaster, the United States came under some criticism from some people at the U.N., some people in other countries saying that they weren't being generous enough.
There's a new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll we want to show you the results of. Seventy percent of Americans believe the U.S. is doing enough. And a remarkable statistic: 45 percent of Americans -- that's nearly half -- have already given money. Another 26 percent say they are thinking about it. Remarkable numbers there.
Here in Sri Lanka, of course, Americans are doing more than just thinking about helping, they are. They are on the ground, and their work is making a difference. CNN's Satinder Bindra has a story you'll see only here on CNN.
SATINDER BINDRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marines on the move as another U.S. transport lands at Colombo's international airport. Staff Sergeant Claude Pile and his men race to check the equipment and supplies on board.
A father of three, Sergeant Pile of New York City believes this is one of the most important missions ever, both for him and his men.
STAFF SGT. CLAUDE PILE, U.S. MARINE CORPS: What do they want to be doing right now? More. More. More, sir.
BINDRA: Since arriving in Sri Lanka just a few days ago, Sergeant Pile and his Marines have been organizing logistics. When that's done, these U.S. helicopters weighed down with relief will take off from Colombo to remote areas of the country.
More than 45 countries are airlifting 750 tons of supplies, everything from baby milk to rice and water to this airport every day. Relief workers describe the crush as competitive compassion, and Marines are at the center of it all.
(on camera) These Marines are tasked with offloading every single plane from any corner of the world that lands here. They're also organizing the delivery of heavy machinery and other material to be used in rebuilding large parts of Sri Lanka.
(voice-over) Once supplies are taken off planes, they're brought to this giant football-field-sized warehouse. Here a team of international volunteers first stacks and then organizes their onward journey.
Faisal Salehi from Maskaw (ph) has been working nonstop for the past week.
FAISAL SALEHI, VOLUNTEER: We are still alive. If we don't help these people who will help them? We have to do that.
BINDRA: Sergeant Pile agrees. He says this tragedy is bringing about a rare unity among nations, private companies and soldiers.
PILE: We all fight the same cause. We all want to do the same thing. That's just helping the people here.
BINDRA: The Sri Lankans are grateful that with so much international aid they're now solely focusing on recovery.
Satinder Bindra, CNN, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
COOPER: You know the truth of a story like this is that, even in the midst of horror and heartbreak, there are moments of celebration. In a moment you're going to meet one family who has a good reason to celebrate at this hour. A new hope, a new life and a new look at the future. One family's story ahead.
ZAHN: As we take in the scope of this horrible tragedy, it's useful to remember that a new generation of children is already being born and, for them, it will be just history.
From southern India, Ram Ramgopal has a story you'll see only here. He met a couple who lost everything they owned in the tsunami, but also gained new reason to hope.
RAM RAMGOPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): People in the fishing hamlet of Tharunkala (ph) will never forget December 26. That was when the sea rose up above the coconut palms, swallowing their homes and 13 village children.
Fisherman Mahesh will not forget that day, either. He lost much, but gained a lot, too. It was the day his first child entered the world. His wife, Rajamanee (ph), and their baby are now recovering in the hospital. Theirs is a tale of tragedy and triumph.
On the day that tsunami rolled in, Mahesh was on the beach, tying his boat. He saw the wave and rushed toward his patched hut. He says he just managed to pull his pregnant wife out before the hut collapsed. Mahesh then put Rajamanee (ph) on two planks from a fishing raft, floated her on the rising waters to safety.
MAHESH, FATHER (through translator): I didn't know what I was doing. I saw the wave, I acted. I wanted to save my wife's life.
RAMGOPAL: The family made their way to this charity hospital. The baby was born the same evening, nine hours after the wave struck.
As is often the custom in these parts, the little one has yet to be named. But they have thought of a name, Manesh (ph).
For now the boy who will be Manesh (ph) has plenty of catching up to do. We asked the family what they want for the baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want him to do well, get an education, be successful, live well.
RAMGOPAL: Father Mahesh would like junior to become a police officer or perhaps a government official. He does not think there is any future in fishing.
MAHESH (through translator): in any family, only one generation needs to struggle. He should have a better life.
RAMGOPAL: This family was never wealthy. What little they had they've lost. Mahesh's livelihood is on hold, but even in adversity, the family says it has a lot for which to be grateful.
Ram Ramgopal, CNN, Tharunkala (ph), southern India.
ZAHN: Good story.
Another survivor story comes from India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, where 5,900 people are still missing and where a 13-year-old boy, whose name is Koshee McEnroe John (ph) was cut off from the rest of the world right after the disaster.
That's when he began to put his thoughts on paper. He wrote letters to an uncle describing the destruction and death. Page after page of Koshee's (ph) letters document the devastation around him. He begs for help.
Well, a ship searching for survivors eventually rescued Koshee (ph) and his family.
Other people have been writing letters about their experiences of the tsunami in the form of e-mails to our colleagues at CNN.com, and QuickCast anchor Veronica De La Cruz joins me again tonight.
Hi, Veronica. You have an interesting letter.
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, QUICKCAST ANCHOR: We wanted to share with you tonight an e-mail from a 13-year-old boy named Hunter who e-mailed us, asking for help looking for his missing teacher, Ken Bursey (ph).
Now Hunter logged countless hours online, on the telephone. He donated all of his very own money to the Red Cross. And, ironically, Hunter and his classmates, along with their teacher, had been raising money to build a school in Cambodia, which is why Mr. Bursey (ph) was in South Asia when the tsunamis hit.
Just yesterday Hunter received an e-mail from his teacher informing him that he was OK and Hunter sent us this update. We wanted to go and share it with you.
It says, "My name is Hunter, and I wanted to thank you for helping me look for my teacher, Ken. We finally heard from him and he is safe. My teacher is one of the best people in the whole world. He spends his life helping kids everywhere, and he was helping orphans and landmine victims over there."
So again, Paula, as you can see, CNN.com becoming a tremendous resource for many people looking for loved ones, searching for ways that they can help.
ZAHN: Associate it with something positive for a change.
DE LA CRUZ: And we wanted to go ahead and remind you that if you'd like to send us your e-mail appeals you can go ahead and do so at tsunami@CNN.com and you can log on to the web site at CNN.com/tsunami.
ZAHN: Veronica De La Cruz, thanks so much.
If you were wondering why it doesn't look like we're talking to each other, because we can't actually hear each other at this hour. But I think you got the point of her story.
Larry King is up at the top of the hour, and he joins me with a preview. It's the kind of lineup we expect of the king of cable.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Thank you, Polly. You look terrific. I love the jacket.
ZAHN: You do? It's not dancing on screen? My director hated it.
KING: No, no, no, no. I like the look. Who hated it?
ZAHN: My director. Should I listen to them?
KING: They're directors. You look great. Hey, we've got a great show tonight: Rusty Yates, the husband of Andrea Yates. Remember, she pled not reason of insanity for killing her five children? The high court -- the court found her guilty of major capital murder. The high court in Texas overturned it today and ordered a new trial based on the false testimony of one witness.
Rusty Yates, her husband, will be with us and so will Kobe Bryant. And so will Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Air.
And Paula, the screen now looks better as we return it to you.
ZAHN: You are so generous, Larry. Thank you. See you at the top of the hour.
KING: Go get them.
And when Anderson and I come back, reporting from the tsunami zone. The challenge of trying to cover a disaster of such enormous proportions, right after this.
ZAHN: The pictures almost as wrenching as the first day of the tsunami. Welcome back. Anderson Cooper now has some final thoughts for all of us tonight from Sri Lanka -- Anderson.
COOPER: Paula, thanks very much.
You know, most of the stories we've been bringing you have been shot by an excellent professional cameraman, Phil Littleton (ph), but I've also been carrying around a home video camera that we've been using to kind of capture little moments that we might otherwise miss.
We've been putting them together in reporter's notebooks, a very sort of ground, personal eye view of the situation here and what it's like trying to tell you the story.
Here's -- here's a look.
COOPER (voice-over): When you first get to Sri Lanka you rush and you race and you try to cover it all. You spend hours fighting traffic day after day.
(on camera) We're in a traffic jam.
(voice-over) Passing cars driving fast; there's never enough time.
But in all the hustle and bustle, the plans and the projects, you risk missing the real story of Sri Lanka, the place and the people and their overwhelming pain. If you listen and you look, you'll see things that stay with you, moments that won't go away with the passing of time. Grieving parents show me photos, so I can know their dead children.
A little boy laughs at coral washed up on the shore.
A child I've been filming finally smiles and makes friends.
(on camera) You want this? You want this? OK. Why would you want to shoot me? You're more interesting.
It doesn't matter what village you go to, doesn't matter what street you turn down, whether you make a left or a right. You stop at any house, and someone will tell you an extraordinary tale of the loss that they have experienced.
In this spot, we just heard 50 people were killed. Fifteen of them were children. And it's just a spot on the side of the road. I mean, it's, you know, cars are driving by. You'd never know it if you're driving by and you look out your window and it just looks like an abandoned spot.
(voice-over) There are so many moments to capture, moments easy to miss in this small, suffering island in this terrible time.
COOPER: At 10 p.m. Eastern Time tonight Christiane Amanpour and myself will bring you a special report focusing on the lives of children. Some remarkable stories. You are going to meet some kids you will never forget. That's at 10 p.m. Eastern Time tonight -- Paula.
ZAHN: Is there one of those stories in particular, Anderson, that affected you?
COOPER: I keep thinking about a little boy I met two days ago now whose brother and sister died. And I spent a couple of hours with him. You saw him just a little bit in that piece. I put a piece on him the other day on TV.
And, you know, just this little boy. He's 10, 11 years old and his life is forever changed. And, you know, it's a hard thing to see and you want -- you make a connection to a little kid like that, and then you have to move on. It's not always easy -- Paula.
ZAHN: I've seen you make a connection to a lot of people in the last seven days. I know it's a heart wrenching most of the day that you go about your work.
Anderson, thanks so much.
We want to thank you all for joining us tonight. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. His guest, Rusty Yates, talks about today's important decision to reverse his wife Andrea's murder conviction.
Again, thank you again for joining us tonight for this special report. Good night.
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