The number of confirmed dead in Somalia from South Asia's earthquake generated tsunami has risen to at least 142 people.

A spokesman for the Somali government, Yusuf Ismail Baribari, says relief agencies are rushing aid to communities along the northeastern shoreline. The worst hit area is the Somali island of Hafun.

Most of the dead are believed to be fishermen who were in boats when huge waves struck the coastline on December 26.

The Somali government says thousands in the region need immediate aid. There are reports of acute diarrhea and concerns that outbreaks of cholera will follow.

The tsunami also took lives in Tanzania, Seychelles and Kenya.