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South Asian Tsunami: 5th Year Commemoration

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On 26 December 2004, a massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia (of magnitude Richter scale 9.0) led a tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean. Almost 226,000 people lost their lives across 13 countries. In its wake came extraordinary generosity, the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) has received over HK$660 million in donations (including bank interests) and assisted almost 5.3 million person-times in 8 countries.

To date, HKRC has allocated a total of approximately HK$620 million to support programs in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Seychelles:

  • disaster management programs, including emergency relief, to more than 1.5 million person-times;
  • housing reconstruction programs benefitting approximately 20,000 people;
  • schools and health facilities reconstructed, rehabilitated and equipped to assist over 260,000 people;
  • water supply and sanitation facilities reconstructed and rehabilitated to benefit about 41,000 person-times;
  • livelihood support to more than 27,000 people;
  • health programs serving almost 3.4 million person-times.
In the two worst hit countries - Indonesia and Sri Lanka, more than 3,300 families can now live in sturdier homes and settlements with electricity, clean water and good sanitation equipped in schools and community facilities by the generous and enthusiastic support of HKRC' donors. In addition, these communities are empowered through new awareness, skills and infrastructure, where are now stronger, safer and better prepared for the natural disasters.

In order to help create more resilient communities, HKRC has also supported disasters preparedness and risk reduction programs in five tsunami affected countries, enabling mapping of hazards and evacuation routes, early warning early action systems, establishing community disaster response teams, training in emergency first aid, disaster response and preparedness.

As tsunami projects draw to a close, HKRC continues managing all tsunami projects in an accountable manner while beneficiaries are satisfied with the services provided.