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Saturday 1 January 2005

Andamans Field Report

Source: AIDIndia Website
SEEDS, Port Blair. 31 December 2004. 1800 hrs IST

The SEEDS field assessment team reached Tamil Nadu on 27 December. We realised that there are some credible NGOs extending aid there. Meanwhile the toll in Andaman and Nicobar was rising and no assistance had reached there due to logistics problems. As such, we moved to the Andamans on 28 December and started relief operations here. Our update is below.

1. We are continuing our relief activities in the two relief camps in Port Blair where evacuees from three locations - Hutbay, Campbell bay, Nancowrie and Car Nicobar Island are being given shelter. These relief camps are being run in Nirmala school and School Line, both in Port Blair, where we have more than 1300 people in the camps right now and more keep coming in. People in the relief camps are being provided shelter, food, toilets and basic cleanliness and sanitation services.

2. Nicobar area is worst hit. The people were washed out, and these being islands in the middle of the ocean, many bodies did not wash back ashore. From back calculations (by counting heads and assuming missing persons as dead), the rough estimates of casualties are about 15,000 in this group of islands alone. Most of the evacuees from these islands are coconut farmers or run piggeries back on their islands.

3. The administration is still evacuating people from vulnerable areas and bringing them to Port Blair under fear of another tsunami. A false alert caused great panic yesterday.

4. There is still no other NGO doing relief work in Andaman and Nicobar. Some NGOs have come for reconnaissance work. There are two more camps being run in Port Blair, both by the administration. Only the administration and some small local groups are working. They are grossly inadequate.

5. There is damage in Port Blair in terms of infrastructure. The administration is busy with putting things back in place. These are primarily facilities that have been damaged, like communications, roads, airport and jetty.

There are another 14 points and a list of proposed goals. Please read the entire update at the AIDIndia website: Andamans Field Report
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