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Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis - Appeal No. 28/2004 Operations Update No. 4


The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.
In Brief

Revised Preliminary Appeal No. 28/2004; Operations Update no. 4;

Period covered: 30-31 December, 2004; Appeal coverage: provisionally 99.2%

Appeal history

  • Preliminary appeal launched on 26 December 2004 CHF 7,517,000 (USD 6,658,712 or EUR 4,852,932) for 6 months to assist 500,000 beneficiaries.
  • Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 1,000,000.
  • Revised Preliminary Appeal issued on 30 December 2004, for CHF 67,005,000 (USD 59,152,246 or EUR 53,439,988) for 2 million beneficiaries for 6-8 months.
  • The Preliminary Appeal was originally launched titled “Bay of Bengal: Earthquake and Tsunamis”. The title was subsequently changed to “Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis” in the Revised Preliminary Appeal launched on 29 December 2004.

Operational summary: The response of the international community to this unprecedented disaster has been timely and tremendously generous. As a result, this revised preliminary appeal is almost fully covered, and the International Federation is entirely focused on effectively using these resources in mobilizing and moving the critical relief supplies (please refer to the updated relief items pipeline status attached at the end of this report). A full plan of action is also under development, based on the detailed information now being generated by the Federation’s Field Assessment and Coordination Teams (FACT) and Emergency Response Units (ERUs), working in close coordination with the UNDAC teams and other operational agencies.


The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck the area off the western coast of northern Sumatra Sunday morning, 26 December 2004, at 7:59 am local time (00:59 GMT) triggered massive tidal waves, or tsunami’s, that swept into coastal villages and seaside resorts. The earthquake epicenter was located at 3.30 N, 95.78E at a depth of 10 kilometres (see map above). The area is historically prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the margins of tectonic plates, however tidal waves of this magnitude are rare, and therefore the level of preparedness was very low.

The casualty toll continues to mount, with the latest deaths estimated at over 123,000 (this figure is anticipated to rise to over 156,000), and over 523,000 injured, over 17,000 missing, close to 1,600,000 displaced, and close to 10,000 homeless. These figures are still expected to increase. Anticipating the need to immediately respond in a large and coordinated fashion, the International Federation immediately launched Preliminary Emergency Appeal no. 28/2004 on 26 December 2004 to support the immediate relief and assistance activities of the national societies in the affected countries, with a particular focus on Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, and the Maldives. Support is also being provided to Thailand, Malaysia, and east African countries affected by the tsunamis. The Federation followed this up with a Revised Preliminary Appeal in order to be able to continue to respond to this unprecedented event. The Federation has deployed its full complement of disaster response tools in the form of Field Assessment and Coordination Teams (FACT) and Emergency Response Units (ERUs) in the sectors of water and sanitation, health care, aid distribution, telecommunications, and logistics/transportation, and their reports are due shortly.

Operational objectives

Emergency relief (food and non-food)

Objective: basic food and non-food item needs of the most vulnerable beneficiaries are met.

Activities planned:

  • purchase and distribute a six to eight-month food ration.
  • purchase and distribute a six to eight-month hygiene package.
  • purchase (mainly locally) and distribute one six to eight-month ration of non-food items to the vulnerable groups, and a reduced allocation (excluding tents, blankets and shelter equipment) to various other beneficiaries.
  • purchase and distribute supplementary food parcels to especially vulnerable individuals such as pregnant women and elderly people
  • Logistics objective: support the ongoing national society and Federation relief operation by providing efficient logistical support in terms of warehousing, transport management and procurement.

Activities planned:

  • support and maintain airport clearing capacity for the substantial amount of incoming relief goods.
  • establish efficiently managed warehouses in the operational area.
  • acquire and manage a fleet adequately sized to the operation.
  • carry out joint national society/Federation local procurement activities.
  • designate counterparts in each core logistics functions thus enabling a proper transfer of skills. · conduct one advanced logistics workshop for participants from each national society.

Health objectives:

  • restore parts of former Primary Health Care (PHC) capacities in the affected area to levels prior to the earthquake.
  • ensure the appropriate treatment and recovery for those injured by the tsunamis.
  • ensure the prevention of or effective treatment for potential/additional health threats such as diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, and respiratory infections. · design a handover plan to the national societies for PNS/ERU health facilities.
  • provide psychological support and training for national society staff to benefit victims of the earthquake.

Activities planned:

  • installation of Basic Health Care (BHC) ERU units.
  • integration of medical staff for on the job-training.
  • provide PHC services in the surrounding villages.
  • effective statistics and data-processing will be developed and an early epidemiological surveillance system for diarrhoeal diseases installed.
  • psychosocial support programme (PSP) interventions will carry out training for volunteers, and jointly provide PSP services to those affected and relief-workers.

Water and sanitation objectives:

  • prevent the outbreak of water-borne epidemics.
  • ensure an adequate and safe water supply and provide sanitation facilities to the basic health care ERU, Red Cross camps, and other health structures.
  • handover water sanitation ERUs to the national societies

Activities planned:

  • watsan ERUs will provide safe water to beneficiaries and BHC units.
  • Mass sanitation ERUs will provide latrines to the BHC-ERUs.
  • water storage capacity will be provided for the affected population in areas without functioning pipe systems, serving the intended beneficiaries whenever possible.
  • National society staff will be integrated into the ERUs, and trained.

Basic shelter, care and educational objective: fully or partially meet the basic shelter and care needs to unaccompanied children.

Activities planned:

  • accommodate unaccompanied children in buildings constructed for this purpose.
  • provide children accommodated in orphanages with basic care and education.
  • provide financial support to the extended families or relatives caring for unaccompanied children

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

  • In Delhi: Alan Bradbury; Regional Programme Coordinator; phone: +91 98 103 -019-84; email:
  • In Sri Lanka: Alisdair Gordon-Gibson; Federation Representative; phone: +94 77 755 7001;
  • In Indonesia: Latifur Rachman, DM Delegate; phone: + 62 811 826 624; fax: + 622 1718 0905 email:
  • In Maynmar: Joanna Maclean, Head of Delegation, email: ;
  • In Bangkok: Dr. Ian Wilderspin, Head of Disaster Risk Management Unit: phone +662 640 8211; fax:+662 661 8220
  • In India: Bob McKerrow, Head of Regional Delegation, phone: +91 11 23324210/13; Azmat Ulla, Head of Delegation, +91 9810399650
  • In Geneva: South Asia Desk, Ewa Eriksson-Fortier, Regional Officer, Federation Secretariat, Geneva; +41 22 730 4252, email:
  • Southeast Asia Desk, Charles Evans, Regional Officer, Geneva; phone:+ 41 22 730 4320; fax:+ 41 22 733 0395; email: or Media Department, Marie-Francois Borel or Sian Bowen, phone: + 41 22 730 4346 or 730 4296; email:
  • In Africa: Nairobi Regional Delegation; Anitta Underlin, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; emai:; Phone; Fax;
  • Reidar Schaanning, Federation Eastern Africa Regional Programme Coordinator,Nairobi; email:; Phone; Fax
  • In Geneva: Josse Gillijns, Federation Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Dept.; email: ; Phone 41.22.730.42.24 ; Fax 41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a f ull description of the national society profile, please access the Federation’s website at

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