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Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis - Appeal No. 28/2004 Operations Update No. 6

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In Brief

Revised Preliminary Appeal No. 28/2004; Operations Update no. 6; Period covered: 1-2 January 2005; Appeal coverage: provisionally 106.4% (click here to view the attached contributions list, also available on the Federation's website).

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 500,000b eneficiaries.
  • 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 Appeallaunche d on 29 December 2004.

Background

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,th at 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). Thea rea 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.

Seven days after the disaster, the casualty toll continues to mount. Latest estimated deaths are over 146,000 (this figure is now anticipated to rise to over 185,000), with over 525,000 injured, over 20,000 missing, close to 1,600,000 displaced, and over 1,000,000 estimated homeless (please see the summary document available on the Federation's Disaster Management Information System, or DMIS, at https://www-secure.ifrc.org/dmis/response/dmi_respond.asp). 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( until the next full or revised appeal, the general objectives established in the revised preliminary appeal remain valid, and are copied below following the summary of assistance activities m i plemented to date.

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 daily reports are now arriving, providing a valuable source for the ongoing Federation response, and operational adjustments.

Operational developments, and Red Cross action taken

Coordination

Coordination mechanisms have been established and regular meetings are t ak ing place in the field and the countries directly affected (with the ICRC, government authorities, NGO's, UNOCHA and UNDAC), in Geneva (with the ICRC and the UN's IASC Task Force on Tsunami-affected Countries), and in New York (with UNOCHA).

The International Federation is formally managing this operation from its Secretariat in Geneva, supported by its regional delegations in Bangkok and New Delhi and country delegations across the disaster zone, including I ndonesia and Sri Lan ka. An Operations Task Force is meeting daily, with the participation of Federation technical departments, and the ICRC.

The Federation and the ICRC have agreed a joint statement on the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement response to the disaster. n I brief, the statement notes the unprecedented scale of the humanitarian needs,calls for our immediate and deep solidarity, and commitment to promoting and organizingan efficient and effective use of the international human, material and financial resources of the Movement th roughout the region.

The agreement reflects a rapid projection of respective assets and capacities, on their historic involvement in the region,and on respective mandates. Broadly,the agreement consists oft he following: the International Federation will provide the general overview of the regional operation and provide the strategy and general operational guidelines for the entire region. The Federation will also assume the general re sponsibilities on communications regarding the overall approach of the Movement to the region as the main Movement spokesperson. Host national societies will play a prominent role in establishing coordination mechanisms (nationally and internationally) and in the implementation of all activities. The International Federation will provide operational support and coordination of the international response of the components of the Movement for India (including the Andaman and Nicobar I slands), Thailand, the Maldives, Southern and Western area of Sri Lanka, Indonesia (except for the Aceh Province), as well as in the East Africa region (with the exception of Somalia).

The ICRC will provide operational coordination for the international response of the components of the Movement for the regions in the North and East of Sri Lanka, Aceh Province of Indonesia, Mon State and Tanintharyi Division in Myanmar as well as Somalia, areas in which it had been operational before the catastrophe. The ICRC will provide overall co-ordination for restoring family links efforts for the national societies in all countries affected by the disaster. The International Federation will lead the development of common country plans. Priorities for each country will be established at the field level, based on needs assessments in the various regions and responsibilities for m i plementation will be defined for each component and communicated within het coordination mechanisms.

In addition to the two preliminary appeals launched already by the Federation and the ICRC budget extension appeals for Sri Lanka and Aceh Province in Indonesia (on January 3, 2005), a fully coordinated and combined Red Cross and Red Crescent international appeal will be developed and launched later in January. This will include clear, and distinct, objectives and budgets for the activities to be coordinated by each institution.

Communications and logistics assistance

In line with the Ericsson Company and Ericsson Response (a global initiative aimed at responding to human suffering caused by disasters that formalizes Ericsson's commitment based on its previous involvement and experience in various disaster response efforts throughout the world), efforts are underway to assist the Federation and national societies in bringing communication to the areas struck by the tsunamis. So far, two teams of Ericsson Response volunteers and a mini GSM system are on their way out.

Two Ericsson Response volunteers traveled to Sri Lanka to assist and cooperate with relief organizations in the area and assist Ericsson Sri Lanka in their efforts to help the victims of the disaster. A mini GSM system is on its way to Aceh in Indonesia. The network in the region is destroyed, and it is a priority to get a communication system up and running. The director of Ericsson Responseand an Ericsson Response volunteer will travel to the area on Sunday, 2 January. Six satellite phones have been donated from Ericsson Indonesia and a further twenty satellite phones have beensent from Ericsson Response.

To further improve communications, Sony Ericsson has donated 1,300 mobile phones to be used by aid agencies in the area. 500 have been sent to Sri Lanka, and 500 are on their way to Indonesia. The remaining 300 are to be kept in Stockholm to be distributed to aid personnel as needed.

Significant logistics support is being is on the verge of being delivered, with eighty 5mt capacity trucks ready to be deployed from the Norwegian Red Cross. Sixty trucks will be transported to Indonesia, and twenty are reserved for further deployment as operational needs require. Transport details are under discussion (possibility of air delivery of part of the consignment).

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Asia:

  • India, New Delhi: Alan Bradbury; Regional Programme Coordinator; phone: +91 98 103-019-84; email: ifrcin134@ifrc.org or India: Bob McKerrow, Head of Regional Delegation, phone: +91 11 23324210/13; Azmat Ulla, Head of Delegation, +91 9810399650.
  • Sri Lanka: Alisdair Gordon-Gibson; Federation Representative; phone: +94 77 755 7001.
  • Indonesia: Latifur Rachman, DM Delegate; phone: + 62 811 826 624; fax: + 622 1718 0905 email: ifrcid05@ifrc.org
  • Myanmar: Joanna Maclean, Head of Delegation, phone: +95 1 383686 e mail: ifrcmm01@redcross.org
  • Thailand, Bangkok: Dr. Ian Wilderspin, Head of Disaster Risk Management Unit: phone +662 640 8211; fax:+662 661 8220; email: ifrcth22@ifrc.or

In Geneva:

  • South Asia Desk, Ewa Eriksson-Fortier, Regional Officer, Federation Secretariat, Geneva; +41 22 730 4252, email: ewa.eriksson@ifrc.org
  • Southeast Asia Desk, Charles Evans, Regional Officer, Geneva; phone:+ 41 22 730 4320; fax:+ 41 22 733 0395; email: charles.evans@ifrc.org
  • Media Department, Marie-Francois Borel or Sian Bowen, phone: + 41 22 730 4346 or 730 4296; email: marie.francois.borel@ifrc.org or sian.bowen@ifrc.org

For Africa:

  • Nairobi Regional Delegation; Anitta Underlin, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; emai: lifrcke03@ifrc.org; Phone 254.20.283.51.24; Fax 254.20.271.84.15; Reidar Schaanning, Federation Eastern Africa Regional Programme Coordinator,Nairobi; email: ifrcke69@ifrc.org; Phone 254.20.283.52.41; Fax 254.20.271.84.15
  • In Geneva: Josse Gillijns, Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Dept.; email: josse.gillijns@ifrc.org ; 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 countr ies, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

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