The death of more than 50,000 people due to the tsunamis caused by a 9.0 earthquake is beyond words. All I can say is that we should all help as much as we can in the relief efforts. Here are some charities:
- Islamic Relief
- Médecins Sans Frontières
- American Red Cross (select International Response Fund)
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The Southeast Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog has links to more relief efforts.
The death toll has been increasing and disease is a real danger as well.
One of the world’s largest relief efforts is under way to help the millions of victims of the Asia quake, which killed more than 50,000 people.
International disaster assessment teams have fanned out to the affected countries and local agencies are distributing emergency aid.
The UN says it faces an unprecedented challenge in co-ordinating distribution of aid to some 10 nations at one time.
A huge undersea quake triggered sea surges, leaving millions homeless.
The disaster zone is now threatened with outbreaks of disease, which the UN health agency has warned could double the death toll.
Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand were among the worst hit by Sunday’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which sent huge waves from Malaysia to Africa.
[…] “The first wave of destruction has caused tens of thousands of deaths, but the second wave of misery is really caused now by the water and sanitation systems.”
In Geneva, World Health Organisation (WHO) expert David Nabarro told reporters “there is certainly a chance that we could have as many dying from communicable diseases as from the tsunami”.
In Sri Lanka alone, more than one million people are displaced and aid workers are under pressure to ensure they have clean water and sanitation to prevent an outbreak of disease.
There have been deaths as far away as Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia.
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The officially confirmed death toll on Wednesday reached 80,763. Peter Rees, head of operations support at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told journalists, “I would not be at all surprised if there are over 100,000 dead, particularly when we see what has happened in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.”
The death toll in Indonesia has risen to 45,268, a health ministry spokesman said. The spokesman said the latest leap in the figures was due to the addition of a previously unaccounted-for district around Banda Aceh, the largest city in Aceh which is the hardest hit region at the northern tip of Sumatra island.
In Sri Lanka, the president’s relief co-ordinating unit said that the tsunami death toll was at least 22,493. The death toll in India reached 10,850, with many thousands of people still missing. In addition, the police chief on the Andaman and Nicobar islands announced that at least 3,000 people were missing.
In Myanmar at least 90 people were killed, according to the UN, while 65 people were dead in Malaysia, officials said.
At least 55 people including two British holidaymakers were killed in the tourist paradise of the Maldives while another 69 were missing, officials said. At least 26 Germans have been confirmed dead in southern Asian coastlines with about 1,000 still missing, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said. Thai officials said 95 people from the Nordics had been killed. In Norway, Foreign Minister Jan Petersen said 446 Norwegians were missing and it was unclear whether 930 more had been in the hardest hit areas. Denmark and Finland each reported 200 citizens missing, while Swedish government officials warned that it was uncertain whether more than 1,000 missing Swedes could be found alive.
Food and medicine were already desperately short in many stricken areas. The task of preventing this second wave of suffering is unprecedented, with UN disaster relief coordinator Jan Egeland saying relief operations would be the biggest in history.
UN and other experts have warned that rotting corpses, smashed sewers, contaminated water and a lack of food and shelter, along with mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, could wipe out weakened survivors in their tens of thousands.
With all this agony that we South Asians are facing, it was painful to see CNN and BBC harping mainly about death and safety of American and European tourists. Will that be called open-mindedness of the Western media ?
The world has just experienced one of the worst natural disasters in history. The toll, both financially and emotionally, is beyond comprehension. This type of trauma will affect all of us on this tiny planet.
The questions arises, what can we do? As an American Citizen I am always amazed and overwhelmed at how responsive the people of this great nation are. The individual and corporate support touch the heart deeply. Whatever each of us can do, no matter how small, will help make the world a better place. Karma does find a way.
In a few weeks our government is scheduled to spend approximately, $40,000,000.00 on the inaugural ceremony, with its galas and other related festivities. I ask you if we need to spend this much money for the pomp and circumstance for a sitting president. If George W. Bush is the strong Christian that he professes to be, would it not be a more magnanimous and Christian thing to do, to forgo this pomp and circumstance, and instead set this money in motion to assist people that have no home, no food, no shoes and more importantly no immediate end in sight. I find this appalling, since the only purpose that I can see for this event at this time is self adulation for the current administration. I can’t help but think of the great quote that set the French nation in political motion, “Let them eat cake.”
This act could restore the image and respect of this truly great nation, which has been tarnished so badly. It is not something that “cannot” be done, it may be something that “will not be done.” If the Bush administration is not willing to do this I would personally like to know why and what harm they think it would do?
Thank you for your time and may this great nation always be thankful for its abundance and its amazing generosity, both financially and spiritually.
i live in north sumatra and i was very scare because
Living in South Asia, I fully appreciate views posted by Mr John Sawyun.
UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, said on Friday, “The death toll from the Asian tsunami disaster may be approaching 150,000 dead, cautioning the true figure may never be known.”
Indonesia, the worst hit among 11 affected nations with nearly 100,000 dead, Sri Lanka death toll set to exceed 29,000 and in India 12,000 people died.
UNICEF communications director John Budd told AFP from Jakarta, “Aceh really is ground zero. There are miles and miles and miles of nothing. Up to 500,000 people are extremely vulnerable because of lack of shelter, while 900,000 children are suffering from a combination of illness, injury, trauma, separation from families and being orphaned.”
American administration claims to be sympathizer of all the down trodden of the world. It is expected of the Bush administration to cancel all victory celebrations (inaugural ceremony) which are just frivolous, rather extravagant, so far as American people are concerned, and divert US $ 40 million to the Tsunami hit countries. This act would bring good wishes for America.
George W. Bush professes to be a strong Christian. I read in Bible, “If a person slaps you on one cheek, present him your other cheek.” The disaster of South Asia is a warning from God but it has no effect on the great supporters of human rights. Day in and day out, innocent people, including old men, women and children are being killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and Kashmir. What a hypocrisy is this.
Life is a gift from God which we are to take with full respect. If one man can be the captain of a saving ship why I ask would he sail by with only bread crumbs to give? We have experienced so many materialistic Gods being worshiped in this country and it needs to end here. If our President could show this nation how you can cancel petty events such as his galas to save children, I believe it could make a huge impact on our citizens! God Bless this country and our leader to make the right decisions!
Paco Cabana my name.
I can tell it was horrible..
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