South and Southeast Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis Fact Sheet #2 (FY 2005)
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
|Indonesia||27,174 deaths||AFP1, Government of Indonesia, December 28|
|Sri Lanka||17,640 deaths, 1 million people affected||AFP, Government of Sri Lanka, December 28|
|India||9,500 deaths||AFP, December 28|
|Thailand||1,473 deaths, 3,000 injured||Government of Thailand, December 28|
|Burma (Myanmar)||90 deaths||AFP, December 28|
|Malaysia||65 deaths||AFP, December 28|
|Somalia||62 deaths||OCHA2, December 28|
|Maldives||52 deaths, 68 people missing||Government of the Maldives, December 28|
|Tanzania||10 deaths||AFP, December 28|
|Bangladesh||2 deaths||U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, December 28|
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance Pledged: $35,000,000
Total USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance Committed: $6,599,300
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance Committed: $6,849,300
Most Powerful Earthquake in 40 Years
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake on December 26, off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered massive tsunamis that affected several countries throughout South and Southeast Asia, as well as Somalia, Tanzania, and Kenya in East Africa.
Reports from international media and national government sources indicate that the earthquake and tsunamis killed more than 56,000 people in South and Southeast Asia and East Africa: 27,174 people in Indonesia, 17,640 in Sri Lanka, 9,500 in India, 1,473 in Thailand, 90 in Burma, 65 in Malaysia, 62 in Somalia, 52 in the Maldives, 10 in Tanzania, and 2 in Bangladesh. Death tolls may rise as rescue and recovery operations continue.
USAID/DART Staff Members Arrive in the Region
The USAID/Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) leader in Bangkok, Thailand, is leading a regional team comprised of public health specialists, water and sanitation experts, field officers, and an information officer. Presently, three USAID/DART members are in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and one is in Phuket, Thailand. In addition, a military liaison officer is scheduled to join the USAID/DART in Thailand on December 29 to coordinate relief activities with the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG).
Logistical problems persist for emergency workers trying to reach the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. Some of the smaller islands have reportedly been completely washed out. Search and rescue operations have not yet started in several remote islands. In addition, the large distances between islands and the lack of clean fuel for rescue helicopters are hampering relief efforts.
Landmines Pose Risk to Relief Efforts
On December 27, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that landmines in Sri Lanka are posing a risk to relief efforts, as the mines have floated and washed out of known mine fields. In addition, the warning signs on mined areas have been swept away or destroyed.
On December 27, U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell announced an initial USG commitment of $15 million in response to the earthquake and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean region. On December 28, the amount pledged increased to $35 million. Dollar amounts in this Fact Sheet are a part of the total pledge of $35 million and refer to specific funding actions that have been committed and programmed.
On December 27, USAID/OFDA provided $4 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for the distribution of emergency shelter materials and other relief commodities, based on the assessment and evaluation of needs in the affected areas. The appeal targets 500,000 beneficiaries for 6 months. Specific activities will include the purchase and transport of tarpaulins, mosquito nets, and family kits to the affected areas, as well as operational activities such as surveying and registering people for assistance. IFRC will distribute the relief items among the most vulnerable affected households. IFRC will also work to complement local reconstruction initiatives through the purchase and distribution of essential building materials and tools.
The U.S. Department of Defense is currently in the process of organizing and sending disaster relief assets and aircraft into the Indian Ocean region to assist with the emergency response.
Sri Lanka and the Maldives
On December 26, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Jeffrey J. Lunstead issued disaster declarations for both countries. The same day, USAID/OFDA provided $200,000 through USAID/Sri Lanka: $100,000 for Sri Lanka and $100,000 for the Maldives.
On December 27, U.S. Ambassador to India David C. Mulford declared a disaster due to the magnitude of the effects of the tsunamis, particularly in southern coastal areas and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In response, USAID/OFDA immediately provided $100,000 through USAID/India to be divided between the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Indian Red Cross for emergency activities.
On December 27, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia B. Lynn Pascoe issued a disaster declaration due to the effects of the earthquake and the tsunamis. USAID/OFDA provided an initial $100,000 through USAID/Indonesia to the Indonesian Red Cross for relief operations. USAID/OFDA is also providing $2 million through USAID/Indonesia for emergency water and sanitation, shelter, and health sector activities.
USAID/OFDA is preparing to dispatch two flights to Indonesia that will carry two 10,000-liter water bladders, 500 body bags, 4,200 water containers, and 100 rolls of plastic sheeting. The value of this assistance excluding transport is approximately $49,300.
USAID's Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) has authorized 500 metric tons (MT) of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance valued at approximately $250,000 toward the U.N. World Food Program's (WFP) relief efforts in Sumatra.
On December 27, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Darryl N. Johnson declared a disaster declaration due to the effects of the tsunamis. In response, USAID/OFDA is providing $100,000 through the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok to the Thai Red Cross for the procurement and distribution of emergency relief items.
1 Agence France-Presse
2 U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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