Some international rescue teams made the wrenching decision yesterday to abandon the search for possible survivors of last weeks earthquake in India, as a lack of coordination appeared to hamper the other task feeding and housing the living and treating their wounds.

Aid was reaching many, but bundles of blankets, bags of rice and lentils, cartons of mineral water and other supplies were heaped outside the railway freight office in Ahmedabad, the main staging point for the relief effort and the commercial center of the western state of Gujarat, where the epicenter of the Jan. 26 quake was located.

So far, 14,241 bodies have been recovered, Gujarat officials said yesterday, estimating the final toll would reach 35,000. The full toll may never be known, because many of the dead may have been cremated in remote villages or remain buried under flattened towns and cities. In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said a fourth American died in the quake but declined to give details.

More than 60,000 people were injured as chunks of concrete and stone rained down from collapsing buildings. About 600,000 people were left homeless. Although it has released no official damage estimate, the central government announced a 2 percent income tax hike yesterday to help pay for relief and rebuilding after India”s worst earthquake in 50 years.

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