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)
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the Hawaii Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) and the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC), two key partners of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, during her mission to Hawaii (USA) from 1 to 3 September.
In January this year, the ICRC shared with government authorities a comprehensive report with the findings of an assessment on the needs of families of missing people, together with recommendations on how to address these needs. The ICRC intends to make available soon, a public version of the report. The assessment was carried out between October 2014 and November 2015 in all districts of Sri Lanka, and involved individual interviews and focus group discussions with 395 families, including those of missing soldiers and policemen.
By Vishalini Chandara Sagar
Tropical cyclone Roanu hit Sri Lanka on 15 May 2016 causing severe flooding and numerous landslides across the country. As Sri Lanka picks up the pieces and rebuilds, it is critical to evaluate the efficacy of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations to better prepare the country in disaster management.
by Ronak Patel and Mihir Bhatt
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:56 GMT
By Alex Whiting
LONDON, April 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Mental illnesses are the world's leading cause of disability affecting millions and, even during a humanitarian crisis, treating them is not an optional luxury, experts said before a World Bank/World Health Organization meeting on the issue in Washington this week.
Read the story on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Over the last 15 years CARE India and other NGOs have repeatedly responded to natural disasters where large numbers of people have lost their homes. These responses have frequently included both provision of short-term emergency shelter and construction of more durable housing, often designated transitional or permanent.
India is highly vulnerable to natural disasters including cyclones, floods, earthquakes and drought; strengthening people’s resilience to natural disasters is an essential part of the humanitarian effort.
Three protracted crises, Jammu & Kashmir, the North-Eastern States and Naxal-affected areas in central India have created emergency needs. Years of conflict have displaced populations and left many without means to provide for themselves. Providing protection, health and nutrition remains a priority.
26/12/2015 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 26 December 2004 was an extraordinary event of such magnitude and destructive power, whose impact on humanity mean it will always be remembered as one of the world’s worst disasters.
Over 226,000 people were killed and the lives of millions of people were irrevocably changed. It was so far-reaching that damage was reported in 14 countries, from Indonesia across the Indian Ocean to the eastern seaboard of Africa.
ABOUT THIS ISSUE
The enhanced vulnerability of children to the detrimental impacts of disasters and emergencies now qualifies as conventional wisdom in various humanitarian circles. Almost 70% of the affected population of a disaster or extreme event are children. Consequently, a lot of government and humanitarian agencies have taken up the cause of protecting and promoting the rights of children to safety and security.
Two projects in Sri Lanka employed participatory approaches, bringing key stakeholders together and facilitating women’s involvement.
The North East Coastal Community Development Project aimed to improve sustainable livelihood and natural resource management in poor coastal communities, and Component B of the Tsunami-Affected Areas Rebuilding Project, which was designed to provide an emergency response to urgent post-tsunami reconstruction challenges.
Ten years on, a midwife looks back on saving lives during one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history
ACEH JAYA, Indonesia – The morning of 26 December, 2004, started out like any other Sunday for Nur Asiah. The mother of two was up early washing clothes outside her parents-in-law’s house in a coastal village in the district of Aceh Jaya. But her weekend routine was abruptly interrupted when a 9.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra.
IDMC's report explores the challenges in providing sustainable housing assistance to informal urban settlers displaced by disasters. It looks at nine case studies from Asia, America and Europe.
The report identifies the difficulties faced by urban informal settlers in receiving long-term housing assistance in post-disaster situations. Informal settlers are more exposed and vulnerable to displacement and are more likely to be relocated and excluded from the provision of durable housing assistance.
COLOMBO, May 8 2015 (IPS) - There has never been any doubt that Nepal is sitting on one of the most seismically active areas in South Asia. The fact that, when the big one struck, damages and deaths would be catastrophic has been known for years.
In Sri Lanka, Switzerland is supporting the reconstruction of homes and villages that were destroyed by the tsunami in 2004 and the civil war that ended in 2009. Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter has visited Akkarai, a village in Jaffna in the north of the country.
By Ismail Humaam Hamid | April 8, 2015
Every January, councillors on the central Maldivian island of Baa Atoll Goidhoo switch on the island’s water desalination plant in preparation for the dry season.
In doing so, the council hopes to scrape through the blistering heat of the four-month-long northeastern monsoon without having to rely on others to provide its 700 inhabitants with clean water.
However, this year the council was not able to fire up the plant because of severe budget constraints and maintenance issues.
Post 2015: Space-based information for disaster risk reduction
In this issue
How can Space-based information contribute to disaster risk assessment?
Risk knowledge in tsunami early warning: the GITEWS project Modelling changes in the behaviour of floods using Earth observations
Editorial: The future key role of Earth observations in disaster risk reduction
The Director’s Letter
Col. Joseph Martin, USAF
The imperative of sustaining public trust, and the complexity of governance demand strong accountability mechanisms to assure that the governments and other parties managing disaster response carry out their commitments