We don't, as a general policy, cover news per se on this site, but the Indonesian earthquakes and their aftermaths are clearly something more than your average news story. We'll be posting more about solutions later today, but for now, this story of survival caught out eye:
"As the waters rose at an incredible rate, I half expected to catch sight of Noahs Ark. Instead of the Ark, I grabbed hold of a wooden catamaran that the local people used as a fishing boat. My brother jumped on the boat, next to me. We bobbed up and down on the catamaran, as the water rushed past us into the village beyond the road.
"After a few minutes, the water stopped rising, and I felt it was safe to swim to the shore. What I didnt realise was that the floodwaters would recede as dramatically as they had risen. All of a sudden, I found myself being swept out to sea with startling speed. Although I am a fairly strong swimmer, I was unable to withstand the current. The fishing boats around me had been torn from their moorings and were furiously bobbing up and down. For the first time, I felt afraid, powerless to prevent myself from being swept out to sea.
"I swam in the direction of one of the loose catamarans, grabbed hold of the hull, and pulled myself to safety. My weight must have slowed the boat down and soon I was stranded on the sand.
"As the water rushed out of the bay, I scrambled onto the main road. Screams and yells were coming from the houses behind the road, many of which were still half full of water, trapping the inhabitants inside. Villagers were walking dazed along the road, unable to comprehend what had taken place."
TSUNAMI SRI LANKA: Autism Awareness Campaign International Appeal
The southern and east coast of Sri Lanka were devastated by the Tsunami - giant tidal waves smashed into the island killing thousands of innocent people including people with disabilities. Over a million were made homeless.Thousands of little children have died. Sri Lanka needs desperate help.
The Autism Awareness Campaign in Sri Lanka appeal for humanitarian assistance - we urge you to help the people of Sri Lanka. Please donate generously to humanitarian campaigns such as Christian Aid, Oxfam, UNICEF, Care International, World Vision and others.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has appealed to people around the world to help victims of the floods that struck Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Premier also expressed his thanks to the many countries that have pledged aid for the thousands affected by the tidal waves that followed an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia this morning.
His office at the Temple Trees has already started a hotline for relief funds and information. The contact numbers are:
Tel: 94112542871 or 94112392047
This operation is being coordinated personally by the Prime Minister through his Secretary Lalith Weeratunga - people around the world can also send donations to the Office of the Prime Minister, Temple Trees, Galle Road, Colombo-3, Sri Lanka.
The Rotary Club of Colombo Regency in Sri Lanka [www.rotaryCregency.org] are formulating plans to channel relief to the areas where they are most needed in Sri Lanka. At a time of this national disaster the nation and its people must stand together. Stand together to help the million victims who have been displaced from their homes and loved ones. Not only have these people lost their family/loved ones they have lost everything except for the clothes on their back.
How you can help
The Rotary Club of Colombo Regency, plans to implement the relief effort in phases in order for it to be effective.
The immediate need is for water and dry food items like biscuits, and canned fish, as displaced people are unable to cook meals just yet. In addition, basic medicines and clothing are also essential.
The second phase in a few days will be to provide dry rations, milk powder etc. as hopefully by that time people would have been moved into refugee camps.
The third phase (5 to 7 days) would be to conduct health camps to prevent/treat any outbreak in disease caused by polluted water and lack of proper sanitation etc at the refugee camps.
In the longer term, rebuilding of life and property would take an enormous effort and would need worldwide help.
If you wish to contribute by way of any items listed above or by cash or kind, please write into this site or phone/email any one of the persons below:
Mario Perumal +94 777 371204, email@example.com
Chamila Wicramasinghe +94 777 364618, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shantha Warnakulasuriya +94 777 355288, email@example.com
Bary Jaleel on +94 777 300239, firstname.lastname@example.org
Altaf Ismail +94 777 741855, email@example.com
Tharanga Gunaratne +94 777 389075, firstname.lastname@example.org
You can send cash contributions in the form of Cheques/Drafts/Money Orders as per the details given below:
Beneficiary - "Rotary Club of Colombo Regency"
Account No: 001-003771-002
Bank Name : HSBC
Postal Address : 24 Sir Baron Jayatilleke Mw, Colombo 01, Sri Lanka
SWIFT Address : HSBCLKLX
For items sent from overseas, The Rotary Club have arranged for duty waivers. Please make sure that you specify the beneficiary as the "Rotary Club of Colombo Regency", c/o Bary Jaleel, 15 Cambridge Place, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka.
However, send an email The Rotary Club with your full name, contact details and your contribution amounts and modes, so that they could keep a track. You can also log onto http://www.lankafood.com/ and select the items you would like to sponsor, and pay for on line. Details of items needed and their rates will be published on this site within the next 24 hours.
Autism Awareness Campaign Sri Lanka
Tsunami Relief and the Bush Inauguration
Happy New Year 2005! While were lucky to have another year of opportunity, not all are so blessed. Right now, the world is suffering from the crushing devastation and loss of the December 2004 tsunami/quake disaster. Rather than party on New Years Eve, many held vigils to symbolize human solidarity in a painful time. Here, far from the destruction, many of us have made donations. Thankfully, the US government has now realized American aid must be increased dramatically. But, if the Bush Administration truly wants to reach out, it should step up and cancel the January 20th Presidential Inaugural festivities which will cost over $40,000,000 plus millions more in public money for unprecedented security and instead donate those funds to tsunami relief efforts. Such a powerful symbolic gesture would send the right message about compassion and leadership. If you agree, tell President Bush email@example.com, Trent Lott, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies firstname.lastname@example.org and members (Bill Frist, http://frist.senate.gov/contact.cfm , Christopher Dodd, dodd.senate.gov/webmail/,Dennis Hastert, email@example.com, Tom DeLay http://www.house.gov/writerep/ and Nancy Pelosi, firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, email@example.com, 202-863-2005 or 202-314-2600 and spread the word by forwarding this message. Peace and Hope 2005!