On 26 Dec 2004, the fourth-largest earthquake in a century erupted underwater off the Indonesian province of Aceh, causing a tsunami that accelerate to speeds of more than 600 kilometres per hour and barreled one-fifth of the way around the earth. More than 228,000 people died in 14 countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and as far away as Africa; most were women – in some places three times the number of men – the elderly and children. The dead included citizens of 40 nations, and the damage totaled nearly US$10 billion. In all, nearly 2.5 million people were affected, losing their families, their homes, and their means of making even a meagre living. All these people already were vulnerable, with many of them chronically poor, subject to wide inequalities within their own societies, displacement, environmental issues from over fishing and deforestation, human rights violations, and longstanding armed conflicts. Households headed by women particularly were pushed deeper into poverty. When the tsunami was finished, it was the most destructive disaster of its kind in history. (Tsunami Global Lessons Learned Project: The tsunami legacy - Innovation, breakthroughs and change)
THE HUMEDICA AID MEASURES AFTER THE TSUNAMI 2004
by Lina Koch, 2014/12/26
It happened exactly ten years ago, on December 26th, when one of the strongest earthquakes ever measured in the Indian Ocean provoked a row of devastating tsunamis. What followed was one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of the modern era: 230,000 people lost their lives in the floods, 110,000 were injured, 1.7 million inhabitants of the coastline were without any shelter. These numbers and facts seem unreal, in reality however, they have involved countless painful fates.
Key Note Message
Dear friends and colleagues,
It is a real delight to welcome and wish all our readers a Very Happy New Year 2015! The work of Sphere India as a coalition body has been able to effectively respond well to humanitarian crisis in the past 10 years through coordination and collaborative efforts of member agencies.
The government has announced the completion of all housing units constructed by the state for people made homeless in the 2004 tsunami disaster.
In a joint press conference held today by the housing and finance ministries, Minister for Housing and Infrastructure Dr Mohamed Muizzu declared that 298 housing units in four islands in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, and 41 housing units in Thaa Madifushi have now been completed.
B Sivakumar,TNN | Jan 9, 2015, 07.32 AM IST
The 2004 tsunami resulted in many voluntary organizations from across the globe setting up base in Tamil Nadu. But it also led to a proliferation of fraudulent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the state. They made use of the enormity of the calamity to swindle funds. Quite a few of them had a religious tinge too. As money poured in from within the country and abroad, they went about buying costly sports utility vehicles and splurging on themselves. Many NGOs, for instance, functioned for months together out of star hotels.
On Boxing Day 2004 a devastating tsunami ripped through villages in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, killing more than 230,000 people. Millions of people from Sumatra to Somalia lost their homes, possessions and means of making a living.
Laura Storr, from our communications team, shares her experience of meeting Vinashathamy, a fisherman from Navaledi in eastern Sri Lanka. In his community over half the population were killed by the devastating wave.
Vinashathamy and Ujini
By Jonathan Fowler
GENEVA, 2 January 2015 - The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 was the springboard for an international accord on reducing disaster risks, the Hyogo Framework for Action, which was adopted just weeks later.
Now, commemorations of the tragedy’s anniversary have led to calls for similar momentum towards a successor agreement charting out the path to a resilient future, which will be on the table at the looming Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which take place in March.
Jonatan A. Lassa and Goh Tian, Singapore | Opinion | Tue, December 30 2014, 10:28 AM
Great progress has been achieved in rebuilding the lives of farmers in Aceh 10 years after the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami. The hardest hit province is also a fertile learning ground for governments and organizations to develop necessary plans for agricultural restoration after a big disaster.
KALMUNAI, Sri Lanka, Dec 31 2014 (IPS) - About six months after a massive tsunami slammed the island nation of Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, 2004, large plumes of smoke could be frequently seen snaking skywards from the beach near the village of Sainathimaruthu, just east of Kalmunai town, about 300 km from the capital, Colombo.
A petrified population had devised a makeshift early-warning system that would alert their fellow villagers of any incoming tsunami – burning rubber tires on the sand by the sea.
26/12/2014 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society today commemorated the tenth commemoration of the Indian Ocean Tsunami that swept across the island nation ten years ago, killing over 35,000 people and affecting over two million.
Work continues to help protect people in the event of another natural disaster.
In 2011, Islamic Relief and OCHA studied the potential of running a religious building-based disaster preparedness project. Preliminary Study on the Potential Role of the Mosque in disaster situation in Indonesia looked at the role of six mosques in West Sumatra and West Java.
HEAVY RAINS: Yellow alert in Uruguay for heavy storms. At least four deaths in the USA after a tornado hit Mississippi and Louisiana.
EARTHQUAKE: A 5.5 degree (Richter) earthquake occurred on Friday, December 26, in Panama causing no damage.
10 YEARS AFTER THE TSUNAMI IN INDONESIA: On the 10th anniversary of the tsunami that devastated Indonesia, the United Nations highlights the importance of disaster preparedness activities.
LLUVIAS INTENSAS: Alerta amarilla en Uruguay por fuerte temporal y, al menos, cuatro fallecidos en EEUU tras el paso de un tornado por Mississippi y Louisiana.
SISMO: Un sismo de 5.5 grados en la escala de Richter se registró el viernes, 26 de diciembre, en Panamá sin causar daños ni afectaciones.
10 AÑOS DE TSUNAMI EN INDONESIA: Naciones Unidas destaca la importancia de las actividades de preparación ante desastres cuando se cumplen 10 años del tsunami que arrasó Indonesia.
Ten years after the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami, the investments of coastal governments in India, in systems that alert people early about disasters, are helping save millions of lives.
For a country of 1.2 billion, where nearly one-third of the population lives in coastal areas – at risk from not only tsunamis, but also cyclones and storm surges – these early warning systems are proving vital time and again.
No one was aware and no one was prepared when the first waves of the tsunami struck Sri Lanka’s east coast at 6:40 a.m. on 26 December 2004. The tsunami was not done. It was still roaring and thought it would be much later before it thundered across Sri Lanka’s western coast, even then, no warning message was sent out. As a result, more than 35,000 people lost their lives.
When the 2004 tsunami hit the Maldives it claimed more than 100 lives, and displaced 16,000 people. When the financial costs were tallied the damages and losses totaled US$ 470 million. This impact, while less dramatic than in other countries, was immense for the Maldives. Whole islands were rendered uninhabitable, a substantial proportion of the population was displaced, and the equivalent of more than 60 percent of GDP was destroyed in a what seemed like a flash.
As a teacher shouted “Fire! Fire!,” around 200 students of Al Manar Islamic Boarding School rushed out of the building.
“Be calm,” another teacher advised, while the students huddled on the school’s athletic field. “Be sure to take the necessary precautions. And always seek protection from Allah.”
This was the scene during a disaster drill conducted by the school that is supported by UNDP. These Islamic schools are known as Dayah here, in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
Although no tsunami can be prevented, early warning systems are critical to ensure that the catastrophic loss of life that occurred when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck will never happen again.
An effective tsunami warning system reaches all persons in danger before the waves hit. And the giant waves can move fast – faster than a person can run. Timely tsunami warnings are essential for mitigating the impact: When these are received by government agencies, national tsunami emergency response plans also must be in place so that coordinated actions are immediately taken.
In the final blog of our series to mark the tenth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami, Valerie Amos blogs on key lessons from the humanitarian response, progress made in the decade since and the continuing challenges that we need to address as we move into 2015.
By Brigitte Leoni
PHUKET, 29 December 2014 - A decade on from the Indian Ocean Tsunami, lessons have been learned and applied across the region. For the upscale Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, disaster preparedness was the watchword even before the tragedy, with resilience seen as part and parcel of good business.
BANDA ACEH, 26 December 2014 (IRIN) -
Guest post by Lilianne Fan
The Indian Ocean tsunami, triggered by a massive earthquake just off the coast of the province of Aceh on tip the Indonesian island of Sumatra, released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs and devastated coastal towns and communities. The impact was global in scale - an estimated 270,000 people killed or missing across 14 countries, with casualties in 46 nations.