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Monday 28 February 2005

Two months after tsunami only some UN agencies have received full funding

Two months after a devastating tsunami wrought havoc on a dozen Indian Ocean countries and sparked an unprecedented outpouring of global relief aid, the United Nations reported today that while some of its agencies have received 100 per cent of their immediate flash appeal requirements, others still remain under-funded.

Overall aid pledged so far from or through governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business and private sources totals $6.28 billion, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which has overall responsibility for supervising relief for the disaster. The deadly waves killed more than 200,000 people and left up to 5 million more in need of basic services.

As far as the UN's own Flash Appeal (PDF) for the first six months after the 26 December tsunami, governments have paid or committed themselves to pay $721 million out of the $979 million sought.

Read the Full Article at UN News Centre

UK: Variety show for tsunami appeal

Stars of the West End are taking part in a variety show in Essex on Sunday (Ed. today) in aid of the victims of the Asian Tsunami disaster.

The show, at the Princes Theatre, in Clacton on Sea, will benefit the Louise Willgrass Fund set up in memory of the Norfolk woman killed in the tragedy. Husband Nigel launched a special appeal for Phuket residents after they helped him and the children after the tragedy.

Sunday's event will also include a celebrity auction for the charity.

Read the Full Article at BBC News

Sunday 27 February 2005

India: Tsunami wipes out mosquito breeding areas in 3 TN districts

The December 26 tsunami had washed away all mosquito-breeding habitats in Nagapattinam, Kanyakumari and Cuddalore districts, where malaria and dengue were prevalent, according to a study by the Centre for Research and Medical Entomology (CRME).

There was no possibility of an epidemic in the coastal districts, as the tsunami had struck after the monsoon season.

Now there was also no threat of malaria and dengue, researchers of the Centre said in their study.

A team of entomologists, microbiologists, zoologists and biologists, carried out the study, on the directions of the Director General of the Indian Council for Medical Research, N K Ganguly.

Read the Full Article at The Hindu

Friday 25 February 2005

India: Revised relief package for TN fishermen

The Tamil Nadu Government today unveiled a revised relief package for fishermen to enable them to buy or repair small fishing craft and mechanised boats.

In a statement, the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, said 50 per cent subsidy would be provided for the replacement of fully damaged fibreglass reinforced plastic catamarans/vallams subject to a maximum unit cost of Rs. 1.5 lakh and a total maximum subsidy of Rs. 75,000.

Replacement of fully damaged/lost mechanised boats would be taken up with a subsidy of 35 per cent of the total cost restricting the subsidy to a maximum of Rs. 5 lakhs a boat. Repairs to mechanised boats would be taken up with a subsidy of 60 per cent of the assessed damage restricted to a maximum of Rs. 3 lakhs a boat.

Read the Full Article at The Hindu

Wednesday 23 February 2005

India: Appeal from Tsunami-South India NGO Coordination Cell

Charles, on behalf of Tsunami-South India NGO Coordination Cell writes to us:

There have been many kind offers of volunteers and thanks to all for their heartfelt wishes. The major relief stage is over, and we are now in the planning and rehabilitation phase. At present, there are several specific skills which would be useful. People who would be very useful are those who have expertise in the following areas:

- Repairing fibre-glass reinforced plastic (FRP), i.e. damaged fishing boats.
- Ability to fix out board motors.
- Mangrove reforestation/biologists
- Bamboo cultivation, suitability etc.
- Soil scientists, especially desalination of soil
- Play therapy and children's playground designers
- Project managers relating to rehabilitation projects, including housing/forestry/health/water and sanitation/fisheries
- Systems support, expand network and website development
- Journalists for documentation purposes (Tamil speaker especially)

There is a lot of available labour in the affected areas at present. Volunteers' skills are most helpful in organizational capacity, design, and knowledge transfer. Being able to speak Tamil is especially helpful. You can reach them at:

The Tsunami - South India NGO Coordination Cell
#4 Sathalvar Street, Mogappair, West Chennai 600058
Phone: 044 26244211, 26357854
Email: tsunami.prepare@gmail.com

Free legal help offered - UK and South East Asia

Via email from Graham Bucknall, LawWorks Manager of the Solictors Pro Bono Group in London
...we are coordinating the provision of free legal help for those affected by the Tsunami. There is a [UK] helpline number (020-7090-7363) where contact details can be left.

We have volunteer lawyers who will call, take details of the help required and then we offer them to our volunteer lawyers. We have a very large number of lawyers and firms involved. To date, any case has been accepted within the hour.

I will emphasise that this is a genuine free service. We have worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Law Society etc.
In response to our email, Mr Bucknall clarifies:
Mainly the help was set up for UK residents but some of the firms we have on our list have offices in the far east and so international cases may be picked up by such a firm.
Solictors Pro Bono's dedicated tsunami site is at http://www.tsunamilegalhelp.org.uk/, and they can also be contacted via email to tsunami@probonogroup.org.uk.

India: WHO to fine-tune services in affected areas

In the post-tsunami period, the World Health Organisation has decided to strengthen its healthcare delivery system in India, including in Tamil Nadu. Soon after the tragedy, the WHO deployed specialists to the affected areas to oversee health services, according to Salim J. Habayeb, its representative.

Dr Habayeb, along with three officials, today visited Thevanampattinam, Samiarpettai, Pudupettai and Chinnur in Cuddalore district "to study the field-level health needs in the coastal villages and fine-tune the WHO health services."

The WHO was working in coordination with the Government of India and the Governments in the States where the tsunami left a trail of devastation, to improve service delivery, spread health information among the people and arrange for finance, said Dr. Habayeb.

Read the Full Article at The Hindu

Sri Lanka: Hikkaduwa Aid Information Centre

Jack Harding - a volunteer who is operating from Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka writes to us:

Hello, my name is Jack Harding and I have recently set up an Aid Information Centre for the Hikkaduwa area, as there seemed to be many different organisations operating independently and there was no place where you could go to find out what was going on and what needed doing! So now the centre is up and running, so I thought I'd let you know, in case there were volunteers that wanted to know what was going on in this area or anything and needed a central place to go for information. The address is 326 Galle Road, Hikkaduwa, just over the road from the Coral Sands Hotel - look for our big blue sign - or the number is 091 43 83 180.


Tuesday 22 February 2005

Yemen: Tsunami damage over US $1 million

The effects of December's Asian tsunami on Yemen's shores will cost more than US $1 million, according to an initial assessment conducted by the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Emergency Unit (EEU), together with an emergency mission of the United Nation's Environment Programme (UNEP).

"We were lucky: our coasts are not populated, otherwise it would have been much worse," Abdulkhaliq al-Ghaberi, director-general of the EEU, told IRIN in the capital, Sana.

Nonetheless, the huge tidal wave has severely affected the livelihoods of the fishing communities of Socotra, a unique island, and its archipelago, 350 km south of the mainland, close to the tip of the Horn of Africa, and the coastal region of al-Mahrah governorate in the east of mainland Yemen,bordering Oman.

Read the Full Article at Reuters AlertNet

India to set up tsunami warning system by 2007

India said that a tsunami warning system would be in place in the Indian Ocean by 2007, giving up to three hours notice to evacuate coastal areas.

The entire round-the-clock operation would cost around 1.25 billion rupees (26 million dollars), Harsh Gupta, secretary in the federal government's department of ocean development, told reporters.

"When the warning equipment is finally in place, it will give 45 minutes to Andaman and Nicobar islands and three hours to Tamil Nadu for preparing against a tsunami following an earthquake in the region," Gupta said on board a ship off the coast of Madras, capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News

Tsunami threat to water supplies

Fresh water supplies in countries hit by the Asian tsunami are under serious threat, according to a UN report. Drinking water sources have been contaminated by salt water and sewage, and every well in Sri Lanka may have been affected, the study says.

Hazardous materials such as toxic waste and asbestos from buildings may also be in the water in some areas, it adds. The study is the first attempt to assess of the environmental damage caused by the 26 December disaster.

"Shallow wells and groundwater supplies, especially in small islands, are now contaminated with salt water," says the study carried out in Indonesia, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Yemen.

Read the Full Article at BBC News

Thursday 17 February 2005

Sri Lanka, Colombo: Tsunami Fundraising Rock Concert

There's going to be a massive rock concert held in Colombo, Sri Lanka to aid the Tasunami Relief operation by the TRF (Tsunami Relief Foundation). Timothy Seneviratne runs a fledgling film and TV production unit in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Caught up in the Boxing Day tsunami while holidaying in Unuwatuna near Galle, he nearly drowned in the first wave, yet survived to spend the next three days and months to follow caring its living victims and burying the dead. Following his ordeal during the tsunami, Seneviratne went on to establish with colleagues and friends, the Tsunami Relief Foundation. More info about the TRF can be found on their website and blog.

'Living on a prayer' - the rock concert will be held on Saturday the 19th of February at CR&FC at 8pm. Tickets are Rs 250/- (2.5 USD) & (1.35 GBP) and are available at the entrance. A number of bands will be perfoming that night, including Venom, Paranoid Earthling, Soul Skinner, Cancer and the Ill Noize crew.

Directions on getting to this tsunami fundraising concert from one of the organizers (Iromi) at TRF: "CR&FC is at London Place, also known as Malalasekera Mawatha. Its the first road on the left right after you pass the BMICH, going towards Thummula junction. Just keep coming down that road and the car park to CR&FC is on the first turning to right. Anyone will know CR&FC when u ask for it, though i'm sure the sound of rock music will be a better guide".

All proceeds are in aid of TRF (Tsunami Relief Foundation) so please pass the word around about the concert !!! And in Timothy's words "Do what you can because every little bit counts".



Tsunami Relief Foundation,
66/5, Greenpath, Colombo -3,
Sri Lanka

Tel no: + 94 11 4740348
Email: trf.srilanka@gmail.com

USA, West Coast, Bay Area: Tsunami Benefit Concert

Bay Area Unites (according to their FAQs, "a coalition of ... organizations and groups ... Among the initial participants are: India Community Center (ICC), American India Foundation (AIF), The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPIO)) is organising a Tsunami Benefit Concert on 20th February.

On the programme:
* Interfaith vigil led by Dr. Deepak Chopra
* Personalized video message from Bill Clinton
* Music by Grammy-nominated singer Lisa Loeb
* Children's programs, music and entertainment
* Celebrities to call for pledges, including philanthropist Dr. Malini Alles
* Performance by critical acclaimed choreographer, Danica Sena
* Masters of the double violin, performance by Shankar and Gingger
* New perspectives on the songs Bob Dylan by 'Mostly Dylan'
* Balinese performance by Gamelan Sekar Jaya
* Fusing pop and rock performance by Tina Sugandh
Organisations and individuals wanting to participate can do so by visiting their website, or "show up at one of the daily organizing meetings at ICC www.indiacc.org (between 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM on weekdays and 12 noon on weekends).

Link via Sepia Mutiny.

Tuesday 15 February 2005

Maldives tsunami damage 62 percent of GDP: World Bank

The Maldives will need massive amounts of aid to recover from last December's tsunami, which left damages in the Indian Ocean nation amounting to 62 percent of its gross domestic product, the World Bank said.

The country would need some 304 million dollars "to effectively implement a recovery and reconstruction strategy," according to a preliminary tsunami assessment released by the the World Bank along with the Asian Development Bank and United Nations Development Programme.

The assessment estimates total damages in the Maldives to be about 470 million dollars, which is close to 62 percent of GDP.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News

Sunday 13 February 2005

Wave of Support

By ROB WALKER
Published: February 13, 2005 (New York Times / Source: nytimes.com)

The tsunami that unexpectedly ravaged coastal areas in several Southeast Asian countries in late December was an enormous tragedy. It was also a major media event, the kind of occurrence that draws sustained global attention. Naturally, people wanted to help. And just as naturally, the marketplace quickly provided opportunities to satisfy that urge.

One of the most interesting was a set of T-shirts produced by and sold at A/X Armani Exchange, a 92-store retail chain (one of its stores is in Phuket, Thailand). The ''Lend a Hand'' shirt, available in three colors, for men and women, was released in mid-January in an initial run of 7,000 and sold in A/X stores and online. It cost $32, with $20 of that (all of the profit, the company says) going to the Red Cross tsunami disaster relief fund. By late January, about three-quarters of the shirts had been sold, and A/X was working on a second round of shirts, as well as caps and a tote bag, and possibly a bracelet, all featuring the ''Lend a Hand'' design.

Harlan Bratcher, the president of Armani Exchange Worldwide, says that immediately after the New Year's holiday, he and his managers decided to come up with a way for the company to help ''pump cash as quickly as possible'' into the disaster-struck region. The chain sells a lot of T-shirts, so the quickest solution seemed to be to slap a tsunami-aid design on batches of blank shirts that were intended for some other graphic treatment. The company came up with a multicolored hand print, and in less than three weeks, the garments were on sale. The young people who make up A/X's consumer base, as well as much of its staff, want to be socially responsible, Bratcher says, so this has been a ''synergistic'' project. In fact the initial response has been strong enough that he says he hopes to keep offering products with the hand icon throughout 2005.

This would be an intriguing development. Charitable support in response to a catastrophic event tends to fade as the disaster itself fades from the news. A/X's decision to make what amounts to a disaster-specific product is ''fairly unusual,'' says Darren Irby, a spokesman for the Red Cross. But perhaps the time for such an approach has come. ''It gives folks an opportunity to support a cause, but also to have a little fun doing it.''

The approach also makes it easy on the consumer: sure, it seems more rational for a socially conscious person to just make a direct donation of $20 (or $32, for that matter) to the Red Cross -- but the reality is that many would simply never get around to it. In a sense, buying a product with a charitable contribution built in eliminates the logistical hassle of living up to your conscience.

Actually the A/X shirts are not the only charity products spawned by this disaster. Von Dutch is selling a ''Tsunami Relief'' T-shirt and giving proceeds to a humanitarian agency named Operation U.S.A. A company called ZaptoPhone is selling ''Tsunami Aid Ringtones'' (which play the national anthem of stricken countries on your cellphone) to benefit Unicef efforts in the region. There have been at least two sets of tsunami-relief wristbands. ''People love to be a part of whatever is going on in the world,'' Irby observes. ''To wear it on their chest, to feel like they're a part of it.'' Perhaps that's one reason so many people wanted to buy wearable New York Fire Department paraphernalia after Sept. 11 -- or why they buy logoed T-shirts from the Red Cross itself. ''It's cool to be part of the Red Cross when the Red Cross is doing good things,'' Irby says.

Products bearing the A/X hand will most likely benefit other agencies involved in tsunami relief as well, Bratcher says, with the beneficiary always made clear to the consumer. (The decision to be specific about the amount going to tsunami relief efforts was also made in deference to shoppers who find the more familiar promises about donated ''profits'' or ''proceeds'' to be nebulous.) The hand icon will live for as long as consumers respond to it. It happens that A/X is, largely, a conveyance for the Armani name; it is owned by a Singapore-based company that licenses the name from Armani Group. So this is a business that long ago learned that consumers will pay $32 for a T-shirt -- as long as there's a big logo on it.

(Article Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/13/magazine/13CONSUMED.html)

Children worldwide affected emotionally by Tsunami

(Source: CNN.com)The stories and images of the tsunami destruction that killed more than 150,000 people can also have a psychological impact on children outside the areas hit. Stories and images of death and destruction may make children worry about their own safety and security.

"I think you have to be very careful to not expose children to information that they can't emotionally handle," says Wasserman, the pediatrician. "A 6-year-old can't handle something that maybe a 12-year-old could."

For the tsunami reports or any tragic news stories, Wasserman advises parents and teachers to talk about the situation and not avoid the topic. By using age-appropriate language, not giving too much information, listening and answering questions, adults can settle children's fears without over-alarming them.

Changes in a child's personality or sleep patterns can be a sign that they're upset, Wasserman says. Abdominal pain is also a common complaint in children who are emotionally distressed.

The Save the Children organization also recommends that adults watch their own behavior. Kids often take emotional cues from those around them. Also, adults should expect the unexpected, as no two children's responses will be exactly alike and some may not even be affected.

Those children with first-hand experience of the tsunamis will sustain the greatest psychological trauma. But MacCormack, of Save the Children, believes that they will recover emotionally, much like children around the world directly involved in past disasters have.

"They certainly understand that their lives have been disrupted and in many cases their families lost, but they're always very resilient," MacCormack says. "So as long as we can reunite them with their families, provide them with stability and a sense of normal life, our experience shows that they will revive and flourish again in the future."

CNN's Amy Cox and Andrew Brown contributed to this report.
(Article Link:
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/01/05/tsunami.children.cope/index.html)

Treating children's emotional wounds

Routine, school, play can help heal psychological trauma

(Source: CNN.com) -- As residents of tsunami-ravaged regions struggle for the basics of clean water, food and medical care, focus also turns to the less immediate, but still devastating, mental toll on children.

"The psychological effects are immense," explains Dr. Michael Wasserman, a pediatrician with the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, Louisiana. "Children understand sameness. And for reasons out of everybody's control, you've yanked that away. You've devastated their world."

Returning to a routine is an important step in helping children recover, says Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children, an organization that provides emergency response, development assistance and advocacy of children's rights around the globe.

"We have trained Indonesian counselors available to meet with these children, but it's very important to create a sense of normalcy right away so we have established large tents where children can gather," MacCormack says. "And there are activities for them in Sri Lanka, too ... so they can have some sense that life is returning to normal."

Wasserman says re-opening schools is vital, even if the students are not necessarily learning.

"If nothing else, their routine is back to where it should be and back to what they're used to," he says.

At schools, missing students are a reminder of the devastation. In some cases, children are simply too young to understand.

Classes have resumed at Victoria (South Horizons) International Kindergarten in Hong Kong. But the school staff has not told students about two of their classmates who are missing after waves pulverized the Khao Lak, Thailand, hotel where their family was staying.

But some younger children, such as Xavier Lee of Hong Kong, have registered the scale of the tsunami tragedy.

"I feel so sad because so many people died," the 6-year-old says.

(Article Link: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/01/05/tsunami.children.cope/index.html)

The most vulnerable victims - 'Children'

'Tsunami Generation' braves unprecedented loss, aftermath

(Source: CNN.com) -- The children gather at a temple in Batapola, Sri Lanka -- laughing, playing and trying to forget.

"When the water came, I was frightened," recalled Sanga, 12, of the tsunamis that struck in late December. "We ran, and our home is gone."

"All the houses were destroyed, all the dresses," added Sujeewa Samarasingha, another orphan living in the southern Sri Lanka temple. "We are very, very sad."

Sleeping 40 to a room, these children are both supremely unfortunate and fortunate. They face extreme challenges -- physical, psychological and otherwise -- in the coming months. But they are alive, having survived a disaster that took thousands of lives including, in many cases, their parents, siblings and friends.

From Thailand to Somalia, more than 150,000 people died in the tsunamis. The United Nation's Children Fund (UNICEF) first estimated children made up one-third of the death toll. But Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, said that percentage, if anything, might be too low.

In many hard-hit countries, birth rates tend to be high and life expectancies low -- 30 to 43 percent of residents are age 18 or below -- so children fatality rates somewhat mirror the population breakdown. Beyond that, children are generally more vulnerable than adults -- smaller, weaker and more susceptible to nature's fury and disease.

"Children are much less able to run away, fight the water, hold onto or climb a tree," said Lyons. "Adults that were stronger were more likely to survive; the youngest were simply unable to."

Yet, amid the tragedy, remarkable events left room for hope and faith.

Off Thailand's Khao Lak tourist resort, a woman discovered an 18-month-old boy from Kazakhstan floating on a mattress. His parents are thought to have perished.

Twenty-day-old Suppiah Tulasi also survived. Her parents found her lying on a mattress in 5 feet of water hours after waves flushed them from a Penang, Malaysia, restaurant.

Seattle, Washington, residents Ron Rubin and Rebecca Beddall climbed to the roof of their hotel in Phuket, Thailand, where they spotted 18-month-old Hannes Bergstrom. They took the Swedish boy -- rescued reportedly with the help of a Thai princess -- to a local hospital. Hannes eventually rejoined his father and other relatives. His mother remains missing.

"He had a toy, and he kept squeezing it and he was talking," said Beddall, recalling video showing the reunion. "When we had him, he was not playing and he was not talking. So it made us very happy to see him normal again."

(Article Link: http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/01/05/overview.children/)

Tsunami victims still wait for aid in Sri Lanka

Supplies to stricken Sri Lankans are blocked by bungling and corruption (Jason Burke in Galle - Sunday February 13, 2005 - The Observer - Source: guardian.co.uk)

Thousands of tsunami victims in Sri Lanka are still without aid, despite the biggest global humanitarian effort ever launched following a natural disaster. Tens of thousands more are receiving patchy assistance, because of government bureaucracy and corruption, poor co-ordination between aid agencies and inappropriate, rather than insufficient, supplies sent from the West.
Nearly seven weeks after the tidal wave that destroyed homes, livelihoods and killed more than 30,000 in the south Asian state, The Observer found people who had yet to receive help just 15 miles south of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. Sirimal Rohita, a carpenter whose house and workshop was destroyed, was one of these.

'No one has come to find out what we need,' Rohita said. Pointing to the temple where he is living with his family, he added: 'We have shelter but nothing else. If we are given some equipment and somewhere to work we can start to rebuild our lives.'

Though authorities insist such cases are rare, in the city of Galle harassed administrators admitted to The Observer that only a quarter of those eligible for the Rs15,000 (£80) compensation for the death of a relative had received it. Some payments were held up by bureaucracy - a death certificate is essential for a claim but difficult to obtain. Other delays were caused by a lack of officials.

'There are only six or seven officers trying to run help for 125,000 people in my district,' said W Weerakoon, additional secretary in Galle. Latest statistics from Galle district show that just 15,000 of the 26,000 people owed a monthly post-tsunami hardship payment of Rs5,000 (£28) had been paid, and only two-thirds of the 25,000 households promised cooking utensils had got them. In many other areas it is worse.

There are fears that some of the aid money is being diverted by corrupt officials. In Balapitiya, north of Galle, two officials have been suspended over accusations of aid misuse. Others are being investigated for demanding bribes for death certificates. Last week's newspapers were full of a scandal involving a bank and relief cash.

Millions of pounds have flown into Sri Lankan government coffers to fund the effort. Aid agencies stress that after early chaos, co-ordination has improved and surveys of needs carried out. In the north-east, some camps are being run by the Tamil Tigers, the government and international NGOs with an unprecedented degree of co-operation, despite political strains. Tented camps have sprung up all along the coast, supplied by Western charities. Earthmoving equipment has also speeded the clear-up.

'Most of the infrastructure - transport, telecoms, water, power - is now back to normal,' said Weerakoon. The World Food Programme and the Sri Lankan government are distributing rations in most camps, he said.

But a six-hour drive south of Colombo revealed pockets of dire need, with hundreds of people packed into single temples, relying on intermittent hand-outs. Few houses have been rebuilt with thousands awaiting relocation by the government.

(Article Link:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1412034,00.html)

Images from ocean floor give clues to tsunami

Royal Navy survey ship reveals seabed fractures and landslides caused by earthquake, now reclassified as second largest ever recorded (By David Adam and John Aglionby in Jakarta - Thursday, February 10, 2005 - Source: The Guardian)

The first images of the seabed at the focus of the massive earthquake that caused the Boxing Day tsunami were released yesterday by scientists working on the Royal Navy survey ship HMS Scott. Though it is too early for experts to be sure what generated the Indian Ocean waves, the images have given them important clues.

The sonar images show a section of the ruptured fault about 43 to 50 miles long, running roughly north-south.

Different colours indicate depth below the sea surface.

To the right and marked in purple is the Indian plate, which slides underneath the Burma plate at about 2cm a year along the sharp line marking the plate boundaries, where the deep blue begins.

Scientists think the lighter blue region of Burma plate was pushed up about 10 to 20 metres when the earthquake struck, forcing the water above into the destructive waves.

Seismologists at Northwestern University in Illinois have upgraded the quake to magnitude 9.3, three times bigger than previously thought and the second largest ever recorded.

Dr Russell Wynn, of the Southampton Oceanography Centre, said the jagged undersea mountains marked in green and yellow on the Burma side of the plate boundary probably formed over thousands of years. "If you were standing on the seabed and looked at those mountains then they would be higher than Ben Nevis," he said.

Little research has been done in the region and there are no maps of what the fault looked like before the earthquake, making it difficult for experts to pinpoint how it moved.

There are signs of recent activity: towards the extreme right of the purple Indian plate, near the top of the picture, are two landslide blocks, each about 2km (1 miles) across and 100 metres thick.

The earthquake probably shook them loose; the right hand edge of the light blue region is marked with slip scars.

Dr Wynn said: "An area the size of a small town fell away from the slope and broke up into bits. Slabs of material travelled about 10km down the slope on to that flat bit of Indian plate and are just lying there. We don't know for definite that was caused by the recent earthquake but it's a very fresh looking feature."

One of the researchers on board HMS Scott, Dr David Tappin of the British Geographical Survey, said the images he had seen showed seabed movement, landslides and tectonic plate movement.

"There has been a lot of movement over a distance of about 1,000km and there is evidence that there has been several phases of movement," said Dr Tappin.

"But one of the key aspects of this is that the area is unknown. The information we're acquiring is the first from this area because there has not been very much scientific research done off the west coast of Sumatra."

Dr Tappin said the interpretations were still very preliminary and would require extensive analysis of further information that his team and other researchers working elsewhere at sea and on land were collecting.

His data has been compiled in the last two weeks by numerous sonar soundings of the seabed taken at depths ranging from 1,500 metres to 5,000 metres and spread over 5,000 square miles.

(Article Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1409648,00.html)

Tribal outsiders count tsunami cost - Tamil Nadu

VISITORS from outside are greeted warmly by the villagers of Melavamchur, gathered by their damaged or destroyed huts.

They are people of the Kattunayakan tribal group and according to their leader, they have lived for decades along the coast in the southern Indian district of Nagappattinam.

Nagappattinam lost more than 6,000 people to the Asian tsunami. The vast majority of those who died or lost their homes were from the fishing community and aid has generally reached such families quite promptly.

But some small groups not involved in fishing were also affected, including ethnic minorities and tiny tribes such as the Kattunayakan.

"Once we were hunters," says their leader, D Ramalingam. "Now we're sweepers and cleaners."

Fortunately, no one died among the hamlet's 80 Kattunayakan families. But they did suffer damage to their property.

But more than 45 families have so far had no compensation, while the others have only had some.

Health woes

An even smaller group, the aboriginal Kuravas, has just three households here. They earn a living selling combs and wigs.

Murugan, a Kuruva, says they did get the 4,000 rupees ($92) compensation but not the cooking oil and rice they are entitled to.

The partial exclusion of these tiny groups up to now seems to have been an accident - they come from the bottom of the social order and are unused to lobbying for rights.

C Sukumar, a volunteer doctor working in the area, says many of them are poor and malnourished, suffering typically from iron deficiency and respiratory infections.

"Most of them," he adds, "consume a lot of alcohol."

Cultural differences

Among other excluded groups are the Dalits, or so-called "untouchables", who in some cases owned no property at all.

Social activists from the cities are now helping minorities petition for their rights.

Filmmaker Revathi Radhakrishnan was shocked by the condition of another ethnic minority, the Mattukkaran, who moved to a park in Nagappattinam after tensions in the relief camps.

She says differences in culture and values and levels of literacy may have played a part in their departure.

Moreover, she says, "these people also like open spaces, they don't like to be crammed in a place, culturally."

The authorities have responded by moving the Mattukkaran into a school for the time being.

Minority leaders say they will be happy to move to new homes.

But the tsunami has only emphasised their low socio-economic status.

(Source: bbc.co.uk)
(Article Link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4175131.stm)

Tsunami Survivors Live on Close Terms With Sea

SOUTH SURIN ISLAND, Thailand, Jan. 16 - They call it "wave that eats people," but the Moken sea gypsies, who have lived in isolation here for decades, emerged from the tsunami almost unscathed.

A community of about 200 Moken was living on South Surin Island, 40 miles from the Thai mainland, when the wave hit on Dec. 26 as it was barreling toward the coast. The Moken's village of thatched huts on stilts was on the beach, but when the water crashed over it, the Moken - including wizened old women and parents with babies on their backs - had already run to the hills.

The Moken know the mysteries of the ocean better than most Thais, having roamed it for centuries as fishermen and divers. They used to live half the year in houseboats on the Andaman Sea, wandering between Thailand and Myanmar, formerly Burma, and while less itinerant now, they remain closely attuned to the water. They are animists who believe that the sea, their island and all objects have spirits, and the Moken use totem poles to communicate with them.

Salama Klathalay, chief of the Moken here, said his elders taught him to expect a people-eating wave whenever the tide receded far and fast. So when he witnessed such a sight on the morning of Dec. 26, he started running and shouting.

"I had never seen such a low tide," said Mr. Salama, a lively white-haired man who said he was at least 60 but unsure of his exact age. "I started telling people that a wave was coming."

One member of the community, a disabled man who could not run, was left behind in the panic, Mr. Salama said, sitting in one of the tents in which the Moken are living while they build a new village. The man died, and to avoid bad luck, Mr. Salama said, they were rebuilding on a different beach. They could avoid future tsunamis by moving to the hills, he said, but they fear the snakes that live there.

The Moken's eyesight under water is so sharp that researchers have studied it. Many cannot read or write, passing lore and knowledge down through the generations orally. They have their own language, though many younger Moken now speak Thai. Some go to the mainland to live and find work, but Mr. Salama said many return.

"They're not used to it over there," he said. "They're used to working on the sea, and there, they have to work in a factory or something."

The Moken have been little more than an oddity for tourist guidebooks and a nuisance for the Thai government, which has chastised them for fishing and foraging on environmentally sensitive water and land. But now, because of their agile escape from the tsunami, these people who live without electricity or schooling are a cause célèbre. The Thai news media has painted them as heroes, and politicians have called for preserving their way of life and spreading their long-held wisdom.

Mr. Salama and other Moken seemed tolerant of nosy visitors, but their thoughts were clearly elsewhere. The wave destroyed most of their wooden boats, most of which have motors these days, and all their homes. It indefinitely closed a small national park office, which employed some Moken as guides and garbage collectors and bought the fish they caught. The disaster also scared off tourists, whom the Moken took diving and to whom the Moken sold handmade replicas of their boats.

After the tsunami, rescue boats took the Moken to a Buddhist temple on the mainland, where they stayed about 10 days before restlessness overwhelmed them. They returned to their island last weekend and started building new homes with donated bamboo and palm fronds. Park rangers are helping them build 54 new homes, which they hope to finish in a few months, and perhaps a small school and souvenir shop for tourists.

A few thousand sea gypsies - called chao ley, or water people, in Thai - live on the Andaman coast or islands near it. Most are more assimilated than the Moken, but they still lead segregated, impoverished lives.

Yupa Klathalay, 35, a Moken, said she visited the mainland a few times a month to sell sea cucumbers but had no interest in moving there, even after the tsunami.

"This place comes from the old generation, and we have to continue it," Ms. Yupa said as hammers pounded and saws buzzed. In the late afternoon, when the group working on construction was dragging in the heat, Mr. Salama pulled up in a longtail boat and leapt out, shouting and hoisting wood to re-energize them.

Mr. Salama, whose father was the chief here before him, said his people believed that tsunamis came because the sea was angry. Another group of Moken, who lived on a different island and are now at a refugee camp in Takua Pa, about 70 miles north of Phuket, on the coast of the Thai mainland, said they, too, thought the wave was punishment from the spirits. They said some dolphins appeared to be agitated shortly before the tide receded that morning, a sign that something was coming. Most of that group also survived.

Each spring the Moken hold a ceremony celebrating the sea and asking for its forgiveness, and this year will be no exception, Mr. Salama said.

"We didn't do anything bad, but maybe somebody else did," he said. "The wave has cleaned out the bad things."

(Source: The New York Times)
(Article Link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/23/international/worldspecial4/23thailand.html?ex=1108443600&en=4093fe9bbdeb1566&ei=5070)

Kher to donate land for tsunami-hit

February 12, 2005 18:13 IST (Source: Rediff.com)

Actor Anupam Kher has decided to donate his two-acre plot at Karjat, near Mumbai, for tsunami victims.

The plot will be handed over to a nongovernmental organisation, SOS Children's Villages of India, which is expected to begin work in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kher said in Mumbai on Saturday.

His autobiographical play, Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, will be staged on February 19 in suburban Bandra in Mumbai for the benefit of the victims, the actor said.

The NGO will set up three villages at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry and Kanyakumari for children, SOS Children's Villages of India president J N Kaul said.

"About 104 children have been orphaned in Car Nicobar islands itself and now is the time for their rehabilitation," Kaul added.

Tsunami reveals stone scriptures

February 12, 2005 21:05 IST (Source: Rediff.com)

The tsunami that hit the Tamil Nadu coastline in December has brought to light a block of stone carvings, which was underwater, near the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram.

According to officials, the Archaeological Survey of India has decided to study the sculptures -- of lions, a horse and a miniature shrine.

A team of officials and photographers from Delhi will start a technical underwater survey next month, the offcials added.

When the tsunami struck Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram, waves over 30 feet in height pounded the shore and filled the temple with sand. When the waves receded, they took away a good portion of the sand. "The shoreline has now become notably shallower," a fisherman said.

One of the survivors claimed that "a temple is visible under the sea from where I sit". He added that the officials had not given much thought to the excavation then.

Sonar pictured asian tsunami seabed

Source and Courtesy:- NewScientist.com news service (Will Knight)

View Image

Dramatic 3D images of the ocean bed where a monstrous earthquake caused the Asian tsunami have been captured by a UK Royal Navy ship.

The images reveal a landscape transformed by the quake which occurred as the Indian tectonic plate pushed against the Burma plate - its leading edge being driven further beneath it.

The earthquake - now thought to have measured a colossal 9.3 on the Richter scale - displaced massive amounts of water and produced killer waves that sped to coastlines around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004.

The map of the ocean floor was captured using high-resolution multi-beam sonar from a UK Royal Navy survey ship, the HMS Scott. Marine geologists aboard the ship have identified several features that bear testament to the earthquake that wrenched the ocean bed.

Slabs of rock weighing millions of tonnes were dragged up to 10 kilometres along the seabed by the force of the displaced water. And while mountainous ridges 1,500 metres tall were forged from debris during the huge movement of earth, an oceanic trench several kilometres wide was ripped open.

Researchers from the Southampton Oceanography Centre, UK, and the British Geological Survey are analysing the pictures aboard the ship. The images should help scientists understand the geological process that produced the tsunami and ultimately assist with the construction of an early warning system for the Indian Ocean.

"From this we hope to better understand the geological processes which produced the earthquake and ultimately help to determine future earthquake and tsunami hazards so that everyone can be aware and prepared," said Lisa McNeill, of the Southampton Oceanography Centre.

£435,000 for tsunami fund - 12th February

Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Ekin will hand over £435,000 tomorrow to Christian Aid for disaster relief in Asia, following the post-Christmas tsunami sit-out at St Anne's Cathedral.

The money will be presented to Lady Christine Eames, of the Christian Aid Board, at a service in the Cathedral, and this amount will be in addition to the £1m already sent to Christian Aid from the special post-Christmas sit-out for Asia.

Representatives from 135 local charities will also be present at the service tomorrow to receive cheques from the annual pre-Christmas sit-out undertaken by the Black Santa, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Dr Houston McKelvey, and his colleagues.

More than £225,000 will be handed out to groups working with children, youth, families, communities and for medical research.

Overall, more than £1,660,000 has been raised for Asian relief and for local charities as a result of the recent sit-outs before and after Christmas.

Dr McKelvey said today: "Few communities anywhere would outdistance the generosity of this city, and this part of the country."

He said that the Black Santa's barrel would still be in the Cathedral to receive donations for Asia until today.

He added: "We organise this service annually, and it is one which restores my faith in humanity."

Source: belfasttelegraph.co.uk
Article Link:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=610321

Saturday 12 February 2005

ESRI provides support for earthquake and tsunami disaster

Redlands, California-ESRI and its international distributors are providing support in response to the recent Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster.ESRI is working with government agencies and disaster relief organizations to provide geographic information system (GIS) resources including software, spatial data warehousing and management, Web hosting, emergency response GIS applications, and more.

"We are humbled by the amazing contributions our users are making to the immediate global response to the tsunami disaster," says Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI. "We are assisting in relief activities while at the same time thinking about a long-term spatial technology strategy that will aid in recovery efforts for years to come."

Organizations needing assistance can contact ESRI. Software, temporary keycodes, technical support, and other assistance are available within 24 hours of receiving the request. Requests for assistance should be sent to www.esri.com/assist.

ESRI was involved hours after the crisis and continues to offer its services to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Pacific Disaster Center, U.S. Pacific Command's Joint Task Force/Civil-Military Operations Center, Thailand Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DPM), Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, Asia Pacific Natural Hazard Information Network, and others. ESRI is also working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and other U.S. agencies.

Organizations are using ESRI software and support for a diverse array of crisis management applications including resource allocation and deployment, situational awareness for first responders, health and emergency center site selection, damage assessment, infrastructure rebuilding, and more.

Some of the ESRI support includes: Locating, organizing, and building spatial data sets and spatial data libraries; Creating static maps for download; Making online mapping services available from Geography Network; Meeting journalism mapping needs with new content for MapShop; Providing emergency software and temporary licensing; Development of GIS emergency management applications to include damage assessment, infrastructure loss, displaced people, and other applications; and Deployment of ArcWeb Services for basemaps, mapping infrastructure before and after the event, imagery, and more.

Founded in 1969, ESRI is the leading developer of GIS software with more than 300,000 clients worldwide. ESRI software is used in all 200 of the largest cities in the United States and in more than 60 percent of counties and municipalities nationwide.


(Source: The Financial Times, Daily Mirror)

Friday 11 February 2005

2004 Deadliest Quake Year in 5 Centuries

The death toll from the earthquake-generated tsunami in Asia made 2004 the deadliest year for earthquakes in five centuries, the U.S. Geological Survey said Thursday.

The agency estimated the toll from the Dec. 26 tsunami at 275,950. Waverly Person, director of the agency's earthquake information center in Golden, Colo., said he expects the final count to be even higher.

Other sources have estimated the number of dead at more than 160,000, with thousands more listed as missing.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News
Deadliest Earthquakes from USGS

Tsunami reveals ancient sculptures on southern Indian shores

The deadly tsunamis that crashed into southern India have unearthed priceless relics, including two granite lions, buried under sand for centuries, archaeologists say.

The towering waves that killed over 285,000 people throughout Asia also appear to have swept a bronze Buddha to Indian shores from Thailand in a basket attached to a bamboo raft, they say.

Archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have descended on the ancient seaport of Mahabalipuram, famed for its rock carvings dating back to the great Pallava dynasty, to see the objects.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News

Indonesia May Build Walls to Save Aceh from Tsunamis

Indonesia may build huge embankments in the tsunami-ravaged province of Aceh to prevent a repeat of the disaster that killed more than 117,000 people last December, Planning Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Friday.

She said the country may build the walls in coastal city buffer zones where there are also plans to plant mangroves and palm trees as natural protection.

"In a bid to anticipate another disaster ... there will be a buffer zone with mangroves in the coastal areas and if necessary (we) build embankments," Indrawati told reporters.

An Indonesian government official said last week the government will not rebuild residential areas within a two-kilometer area from the shore in battered provincial capital Banda Aceh and other towns.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News

Tsunami woman found after 45 days

A teenager who survived December's tsunami has been rescued by police from a remote island on India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.

Eighteen-year-old Jessy is said to have lived on wild fruit for 45 days.

She was found on Wednesday close to the site where nine survivors of the tsunami were found last week. [..]

Jessy is said to belong to the Nicobarese tribe and was rescued from the Pillowpanja islands in the south of the archipelago.

Read the Full Article at BBC News

Thursday 10 February 2005

US: Bush seeks $950 million in tsunami aid

President Bush said Wednesday he will ask Congress for an additional $600 million to aid victims of the December 26 tsunami that ravaged parts of southern Asia.

That aid would be in addition to the $350 million the United States already has pledged, according to a written statement from the White House.

[...]

Andrew Natsios, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, told reporters Wednesday that the $950 million humanitarian pledge would represent "the most generous and the most extensive in American history for the U.S. government."

Read the Full Article from CNN

Chennai: AID India's Tsunami Relief Report 4

AID India has come out with a detailed report of the Tsunami from day one and the relief efforts that have gone into it in Tamil Nadu. This report includes a lot of ideas for long-term relief as well, for those who are seeking such plans. The report can be accessed at: AID India Report

Courtesy: AID India Website

Wednesday 9 February 2005

India: Groundwater polluted in Pondy after tsunami: study

PONDICHERRY, FEB .8. Seawater intrusion following the tsunami strike has increased the percentage of dissolved solid contents in groundwater at some places in the Union Territory.

A study conducted by the State Groundwater Unit and Soil Conservation Department in Pondicherry and Karaikal found that the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) went up to 1000 parts per million (ppm) and in certain areas it crossed1000 ppm.

TDS is a measurement of minerals or salts in water. Bicarbonate, chloride, sulphate, calcium, magnesium and sodium are the major components normally found in water. High levels of some of these elements are a potential concern.

Read the Full Article at The Hindu

Monday 7 February 2005

Child protection authorities continue to search for young tsunami victims

The Probation and Child Care Services Department says 995 children were orphaned after losing both parents in the tsunami, and another 3,409 children lost either a mother or a father. Several unaccompanied children have also been identified.

Adoption of these children is possible if the interested parties follow the standard legal procedure. But media reports have said that after the tsunami tragedy, some children who went missing were probably taken by parties not following legal procedure.

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has said the authorities will not take legal action against persons (relative or non-relative) or organisations if they have so far kept custody of children without registration. However, it requested that individuals and organisations now come forward to register these young tsunami victims.


Read More

No relief: Sri Lanka getting winter gear & useless goods

The grateful people of Sri Lanka would like to make a humble request to all those who have offered succor to its devastated tsunami victims: Please, no more ski jackets, moisturizing gel or Viagra.

The recent outpouring of support, while helpful on the whole, has brought with it a mountain of unusable stuff from the Western world. That includes cozy winter hats, Arctic-weather tents, colognes and thong underwear.

Dubbed "frustrated cargo" by aid workers because it often has nowhere to go, these misfit items are gathering dust in warehouses and creating major headaches for relief workers in the field.
Making matters worse, many aid workers don't know where all the useless handouts are coming from or for whom they are intended. Although most aid that arrives is earmarked for specific relief agencies, such as the Red Cross, some shipments are addressed simply to "The People of Sri Lanka" and have no return address.

Unwanted medicines pose a more serious problem. Doctors and private citizens appear to have unloaded their sample bins and medicine cabinets and shipped the items. Shipments included useful antibiotics as well as drugs that aren't common in many villages and can easily be abused, such as antidepressants.


Read More

Sri Lanka: Chopper Service for Relief Organizations & Aid Workers

Those who need to travel to distant areas in Sri Lanka are requested to please get in touch with Suren Mirchandani on +94 777 717 300 to book helicopters which are now available on a first come first served basis.


Saturday 5 February 2005

The Akanksha initiative to rebuild the lives of Tsunami Survivor kids

The Akanksha Foundation (www.akanksha.org) has been working to impact the lives of less privileged children in Mumbai and Pune for the past fourteen years. A few weeks after the Dec 26th tsunami hit, we went down the coast from Chennai to Nagapattinam to talk with children and families about what they needed. As a result of that trip, we came back and developed a one-year activity-based curriculum with the following objectives:

a. to enable children to clearly understand what a tsunami is, why it happened and what to do should it occur again
b. to get children to express their emotions, help them cope with their grief, and re-build their confidence
c. to enable children to get over their fear of the sea and reconnect with the sea
d. to enable children and teachers to support each other as they rebuild their lives

The package is in 3 parts:

a. The Giving Sea: Activities for Elementary, Middle and High School Students
b. The Giving Sea: Story and Colouring Book for Students
c. The Old Man and the Sea: Story and Colouring Book for Students

Akanksha is keen to print and give free of cost both these books (with individual copies of b. and c. for each child) as well as the art work, stationary and other materials needed to complete the activities. Akanksha will also provide an explanation/training for teachers to be able to use these materials effectively.

Akanksha is also happy to give schools any thing else that they have lost and require. Lastly, to make schools bright and cheerful, Akanksha would like to paint classrooms, put up display board and paint murals in each class.

It is our belief that each school can play a critical role in making children and teachers feel safe and supported, and we would like to do whatever we can to aid this process.

For more information please contact us on 9821058665 and shaheen@vsnl.com (Shaheen) or 9821325662 and sriram@akanksha.org (Sriram). All the manuals are also available to be downloaded from our website www.akanksha.org

Friday 4 February 2005

Nine survivors rescued in the Andamans after 37 days

From a Reuters report:
Nine tribespeople have been rescued on Andaman and Nicobar islands more than a month after the tsunami struck, after getting lost in the jungles and surviving on wild boars and coconuts, officials said on Thursday.

[...]

The group, five men, one woman and three girls, fled onto a hilltop when the tsunami struck on Dec. 26, before getting lost in the jungles. They were finally found by a police search team near Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar island, after getting help from a more primitive tribe in the island's interior.

Animals finally feel tsunami

Animal health authorities have received reports from the east coast that close to a thousand animals have died recently after drinking water contaminated by tsunami tidal waves which hit the coast more than a month ago.

Sources said that the areas which came under sea water in the east continue to have blackish water in puddles here and there deep inland, and animals such as cattle had died after drinking water from such water sources.

The reports mainly came from Pottuvil, and close to a thousand animals had reportedly died up to yesterday. A team of veterinarians had already been dispatched to Pottuvil to verify the cause. Meanwhile, residents in Pottuvil are said to be in fear as the sea water off the Pottuvil coast had turned dark and blackish again, reminding them of the tsunami waves which were dark in colour.

Source: The Daily Mirror

UN takes first step in rebuilding Sri Lanka's fishing fleet

In the first small step in a large-scale initiative to help restore the livelihoods of thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen devastated by December's Indian Ocean tsunami, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today handed over an initial $380,000 consignment of boat repair kits.

"This is the first shot off the starting block of a programme that will develop over the next few months to rebuild the country's battered fishing industry," FAO country representative Pierre Gence said at the hand-over ceremony with Sri Lankan fisheries minister Chandrasena Wijesinghe.

The donation, funded jointly by FAO and the German technical cooperation agency GTZ, represents the start of FAO's $20 million initial response to the tsunami that ravaged more than three quarters of the country's fisheries industry.

Read the Full Article at UN News Centre

Sri Lanka: Information about tsunami orphans

The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and the Department of Probation and Childcare Services has thanked the public who cared for children affected by the tsunami. The NCPA and the Department of Probation and Childcare Services together with the Centre for National Operations (CNO) and the Task Force for Rescue and Relief (TAFRER) are in the process of developing a national policy and request the public to support in gathering further information.

The CNO and TAFRER has requested all relatives caring for children including surviving parents to register with the authorities; all unrelated persons including institutions/orphanages who have been caring for children orphaned by the tsunami to register with the authorities; and the public to participate in providing information related to children orphaned by the tsunami. This information is necessary to identify missing children, provide future assistance, facilitate temporary foster care and adoptions and to provide educational needs and schooling.

The information should be provided to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), No. 330, Thalawathugoda Road, Madiwela, Sri Jayawardenapura.

Tel: (011) 2778911-4 or (011) 2779196 Fax: (011)-2778915;

Commissioner General - Department of Probation and Childcare Services, No. 150A, Nawala Road, Nugegoda. Tel: (011) 2852393 or (011) 2853596 Fax: (011) 2852393;

Provincial Commissioners - Department of Probation and Childcare Services, Galle 091-2234156 and Trincomalee 026-2223085;

All Divisional Secretaries in affected areas through the Grama Sevaka Niladari (forms can be collected at the Divisional Secretary's Office or at the Grama Sevaka Niladari's Office).

Source: The Daily News

Thursday 3 February 2005

UK: Warning over fake tsunami aid website

Net users are being told to avoid a scam website that claims to collect cash on behalf of tsunami victims. The site looks plausible because it uses an old version of the official Disasters Emergency Committee webpage. However, DEC has no connection with the fake site and says it has contacted the police about it.

The link to the website is contained in a spam e-mail that is currently circulating. The message's subject line reads "Urgent Tsunami Earthquake Appeal" and its text bears all the poor grammar and bad spelling that characterises many other phishing attempts.

The web address of the fake site is decuk.org which could be close enough to the official www.dec.org.uk address to confuse some people keen to donate.

Read the Full Article at BBC News

MTV Tsunami Relief

Universal Music Group and MTV are currently administering a special online auction to benefit UNICEF's Tsunami Relief efforts at www.mtvcharityauctions.com. You can bid on special music and movie memorabilia donated and signed by donzes of musicians and other artists, plus hard-to-come-by tickets to events like the MTV Video Music Awards, 2005 Movie Awards, and the Daily Show With Jon Stewart. 75% of the net proceeds go to UNICEF. Just check out www.mtvcharityauctions.com anytime during February and March 2005 and help a worthy cause.

MTV Networks Asia will reposition the annual MTV Asia Awards into a global benefit, in support of the recovery efforts taking place in Asia, a vital part of MTV Networks' wider global response to the aftermath of the tsunami. The event, now to be known as MTV Asia Aid, is to still take place at IMPACT Arena in Bangkok on 2 PM, 3 February 2005.

In addition to being broadcast on the MTV network, MTV Asia Aid will be available free of charge to all global broadcasters. The goal is to reach three quarters of the world’s TV households.

Because one third of tsunami deaths were children, UNICEF will be the main recipient of the money raised. A live webcast of the concert will be available on the MTV Asia site and through the UNICEF homepage.

Donate to UNICEF

i58 Projects' Tsunami Relief Effort

The i58 Project is helping to prepare for an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 additional orphans.

Currently the i58-India Project helps to support just over 8,000 orphans. An additional 2,000 to 5,000 orphans will create a significant burden on an already overburdened orphanage system. This horrible disaster has left hudreds of thousands of people without families. Many of these people are children and they have no place to go.

By simply making a donation to the i58-India Project you will be helping to prepare a future for one of these scared, tired and devastated children who has just lost their family and friends.

Your donation will go directly to HopeGivers International, who is currently preparing for these children. With the help of i58 they are busy purchasing beds, blankets and clothing. These children will be taken in, given an education and taught the skills they will need to one day rebuild their shattered lives, villages and families.

Read more on i58Projects Website
Donate to i58Projects

38 Days After Tsunami, 9 Survivors Found

Nine tribespeople who survived the December tsunami spent 38 days wandering through flattened villages on a remote Indian island, eating boars and coconuts, before police found them Wednesday.

Five men, two women and two young girls were discovered in a forest on Campbell Bay island by police searching for people still missing after the Dec. 26 disaster that killed at least 158,000 in 11 nations. At least 10,749 people were killed in India.

The nine belong to the Nicobarese tribe, Inspector Shaukat Hussain told The Associated Press by telephone from Campbell Bay, the only town in Great Nicobar, India's southernmost island. They range in age from 11 to 65.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News

Wednesday 2 February 2005

India: Filmdom & Entertainment industry musters help for Tsunami victims

The HELP! Telethon Concert website, is an initiative of the Film and Television Producers' Guild, multiple channel and leading event management companies, Wizcraft International Entertainment, G S Entertainment and Cineyug.

The website would enable net users to donate for this humanitarian cause online and an online auction of celebrity memorabilia will also be conducted through the website.

Earlier, The Film & Television Producers Guild of India and the Indian Film and Television Industry had announced the HELP! Telethon Concert, the biggest-ever fundraiser from India to aid victims of the Tsunami tragedy that struck large parts of Asia and India and wreaked havoc on people and property.

The HELP! Telethon Concert would be held at the MMRDA Grounds, Bandra-Kurla Complex on February 6, 2005. HELP! would bring together different facets of the Indian entertainment industry in an effort to create a movement which will bring together corporate houses and people across the footprint to donate to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund A/c HELP.

Read the article on Fibre2Fashion
Donate to HELP! Telethon

India: Post-tsunami changes in sea could affect environment

Indian scientists have observed a change in the sea-temperature post-tsunami disaster that could possibly lead to major environmetal changes such as rainfall and monsoon cycle in the years to come.

"A comprehensive multi-model at ISRO centre in Ahmedabad has observed one to 2.5 degree drop in the sea temperature caused due to displacement of heavy water mass. It could possibly lead to long-term effects on the environment," Head, Ocean Science Division at Ahmedabad, Dr V K Agarwal told PTI.

The satellites has observed drop in sea-temperature in an area as huge as about two thousand million square kilometers between the central Bay of Bengal and the Equator, he said.

Read the Full Article at The Hindu

CSFTxt - Global Alert Retrieval Cache

We have launched CSFTxt, the Global Alert Retrieval Cache. If you have an SMS enabled cellphone chances are that you can send a short email through it. As you might know, emails can be directly routed onto a blog. This system can be used for tsunami affected areas to route information more effectively.

For instance, on my Hutch cellphone I have Orange Plus>My Services>Yahoo>YahooMail. Once you OK that it asks you for a login, and then a password. Once you are logged in from your cellphone you send emails by replying to SMSes from Yahoo. If you don't have a Yahoo Mail id
...
use this:

login: csftxt
password: world123


To send an email, reply to Yahoo's SMS by typing:

To fadereu.csftxt@blogger.com [your message] and your SMS should instantly appear on CSFTxt.

Also, we on CSF invite bloggers/friends, basically citizen reporters from Nepal to join us on CSF and CSFTxt. Suggestions and volunteers are welcome.

We need volunteers to become Admins of CSFTxt so that spam and Yahoo Advertisements can be edited out as soon as possible. Please drop a comment on CSFTxt is you wish to volunteer, with your email ID.

India: Plan to restore mental health of tsunami-affected

The Academy for Disaster Management Education, Planning and Training (ADEPT) and its partners along with the district administration have developed a long-term plan to restore mental health in the tsunami-affected areas of Cuddalore district.

In the first stage, community volunteers and health workers will be sensitised to the importance of family and community networks both in reaction to disaster and recovery.

In the second stage, community self-help groups will be formed with the objective of mitigating post-disaster stress, providing psychosocial support and developing the community socially and economically.

In the third stage, coordination hubs will be formed to monitor the ongoing programme and develop it to conduct cooperative activities with other relief operations.

Read the Full Article at The Hindu

Travelers Urged to Return After Tsunami

Tsunami-lashed nations on Tuesday urged travelers to return to southern Asia's ravaged coasts and deserted resorts to revive the vital tourism industry, while the United Nations said it would proceed with an interim warning system to protect vulnerable shores from killer waves.

Dozens of countries at talks organized by the U.N. World Tourism Organization finalized a plan to lure back tourists to four nations hit by the giant waves — Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia. The talks took place on this badly hit resort island.

The tsunami was the biggest catastrophe ever to strike world tourism, with many travelers and tourism workers killed and facilities destroyed, said the organization's chief, Francesco Frangialli.

Read the Full Article at Yahoo News

Chennai: AID India's children's booklet on tsunamis

To help reduce children's fears of another tsunami, A.I.D. India has brought out a booklet on tsunamis in both English and Tamil. The Tamil edition is being distributed to the children in tsunami-affected areas (with somebody discussing it with them and explaining that they need not fear a Tsunami recurrence). The English version is being sold in Chennai and in other areas at Rs 3/- a copy. All money from sales will go towards AID Chennai's Tsunami Relief Work.

You can download a PDF of the English booklet here. (28.8Mb)