10,000 tourists still missing

Ten days after the Indian Ocean tsunami, Western governments are still struggling to produce precise figures for their missing citizens, BBC News reported today.

The death toll among foreigners currently stands at 396, the BBC said, with about 10,000 tourists missing or feared dead. Germans account for the highest number of victims among tourists so far, with 60 confirmed deaths. In Thailand, half of the more than 5,200 people known to have died in the country were foreigners.

The tsunami is believed to have killed tourists from at least 45 countries. The BBC report includes a tally of some of the numbers so far:

  • Germany – More than 1,000 still missing. About 7,000 Germans have returned home from affected areas.
  • Sweden – The first six bodies arrived by plane on Wednesday morning. Official figure for tsunami victims currently stands at 52, but 1,900 more are unaccounted for. Prime Minister Goeran Persson has warned that Sweden’s death toll could exceed 1,000.
  • UK – 41 people have been confirmed dead, but the Foreign Office acknowledged that some 199 UK citizens were "highly likely" to have perished.
  • Switzerland – One of the few countries whose figures have been revised upwards: 23 victims have been identified and about 100 are presumed dead. In addition, there’s no news about a further 400 people.
  • Japan – 23 are reported dead and more than 240 missing.
  • France – So far, 22 bodies identified, while some 100 are reported missing and up to 600 are still unaccounted for.
  • Italy – 20 dead, while the number of missing people has been revised down and stands at 436.
  • Norway – 16 are confirmed dead, while the figure for the missing has been revised down to 81.
  • Australia – 15 believed to have died, although the government said DNA testing was necessary to confirm the figure. About 560 others travelling to the region have not been heard from.

BBC News | Asia Pacific | Thousands of tourists feared dead

Update – additional info: A separate BBC News story today reported that thousands of US citizens are also missing:

Several thousand US citizens are still unaccounted for in Thailand and Sri Lanka after the tsunami which killed more than 120,000 people.

At least 14 US citizens have been confirmed as dead, state department spokesman Richard Boucher said. He added that 600 people initially listed as missing were later found but others had been reported as missing.

Canada said four of its nationals were confirmed dead while nearly 90 were missing and unaccounted for.

BBC News | Americas | Thousands of US citizens missing