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Tsunami: Blood, Sweat & Tears

More than a week after tsunamis wreaked terror in south Asia, haggard and dehydrated survivors are flooding hospitals in the disaster zone, where the latest estimated death toll is 150,000.

South India was rattled early Wednesday by a 5.8-magnitude quake, the latest of numerous aftershocks stemming from the monstrous temblor that spawned the tsunami. There were no immediate reports of further injury or damage on the Andaman Islands, which were closest to the epicenter of the aftershock.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell toured Indonesia's Sumatra island Wednesday and the former army general said the devastation is the worst he's ever seen.

"I've been in war and I've been through a number of hurricanes, tornados and other relief operations, but I've never seen anything like this," said Powell said, after flying over flattened villages along Sumatra's northern coastline.

"I can not begin to imagine the horror that went through the families and all of the people who heard this noise and then had their lives snuffed out by this wave."

Powell is in Indonesia on a fact-finding mission for President Bush, along with Mr. Bush's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, to determine how best to focus American aid to tsunami victims.

Powell will represent the U.S. Thursday at a tsunami aid conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, and at subsequent disaster meeting in Kobe, Japan, which are to focus on issues including southern Asia's need for a system to issue early tsunami warnings.

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, the recovery effort is finally starting to show some limited progress, but the enormous challenge remains of removing an estimated 30,000 bodies that lie in the streets.

Locals and disaster workers have cleared one of the city's waterways of bloated dead bodies, but most volunteers have nothing more than plastic gloves to protect themselves from disease.

Survivors also face a newly emerging aid bottleneck as a helicopter fleet steadily increasing in size ferries the injured and sick from ravaged villages to overcrowded, undersupplied city hospitals.

Tuesday, a dozen people lay on stretchers on the sidewalk outside Fakina Hospital in Banda Aceh, provincial capital of Indonesia's Aceh province on hard-hit Sumatra island. Many of the hospital's rooms had no power. Walls were speckled with blood and doctors had run out of stands for intravenous fluid bags, hanging them instead from cords strung across the ceiling.

"It's heartbreaking," said Leslie Ansag of Everett, Washington, a Navy medic from the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier off Sumatra to help the rescue effort.

The call to clean up is also on in Thailand, CBS News Correspondent

. Children are working alongside parents to clear a schoolyard and Peter Brennan rebuilt his old Irish Pub.

"Everybody just tucked in, worked hard," Brennan said. "Work, work, work, and just get it there."

The focus on aid needs intensified as world leaders headed to southern Asia to get a close look at the damage and work out a relief plan at a donor conference Thursday in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

Powell, who visited Thailand and Indonesia on Tuesday, pledged America's full support. The United States "will certainly not turn away from those in desperate need," he said.

He said the outpouring of U.S. aid - the government has pledged $350 million and citizens are donating tens of millions more - could help Muslims see the United States in a better light.

"What it does in the Muslim world, the rest of the world, is giving an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action," said Powell, who is accompanied by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a brother of President Bush.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that Americans are being so generous that several aid agencies are overwhelmed with donations. One Buddhist Temple in Queens Village, N.Y. can't handle any more clothing gifts to tsunami survivors.

"We're seeing overwhelming outpouring ... an overwhelming reflection of solidarity of people," said Catrin Shulte, of the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders.

Japan - which has pledged $500 million to aid efforts, and is preparing to dispatch soldiers and aircraft to the disaster zone - sent a 20-member military team Tuesday to study the region's needs.

Thursday's aid conference in Jakarta and a subsequent disaster meeting in Kobe, Japan, are to focus on southern Asia's need for a sensor system to issue early tsunami warnings.

Experts say such a system would have cut casualties substantially, and the Thai government on Tuesday removed the head of its meteorological department, Suparerk Thantiratanawong, for failing to warn the nation of the impending disaster. More than 5,000 people were killed when waves slammed into Thai coastal communities.

"If he warned, the death toll would definitely have been minimized," said Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Suparerk was assigned to work for six months to help develop a warning system similar to one the Japanese government uses to issue tsunami alerts within minutes of underwater earthquakes. Thai officials said they hoped for technical aid from Washington.

Helicopters from the U.S. military and other nations continued to fly into devastated parts of Sumatra.

Pilot Lt. Ruben Ramos of San Juan, Puerto Rico, found a village where dozens of villagers bounded out of the forest for aid packages. Almost all ran forward, thrusting out their hands and then pressing them to their hearts in a gesture of thanks.

Another gripping survival tale emerged from the Dec. 26 disaster that left 5 million in need. Officials said an Indonesian man swept out to sea was found alive, afloat on tree branches and debris about 100 miles from shore.

Rizal Sapura, 23, was rescued by a Malaysian cargo ship in the Indian Ocean, said Adrian Arukiasamy, a spokesman for shipping company K-Line Maritime Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Crewmen on the container ship returning to Malaysia from South Africa spotted him Monday evening clinging to the branches of a floating tree, Arukiasamy said.

"It was certainly a miraculous survival," he said.

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