The tsunamis were caused by the world's largest earthquake in 40 years, centered off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
"We have made contact with several of our partners on the southeast coast of India and are beginning the process of assisting as many of the victims as we are able that have been traumatized by this disaster," says India Partners Executive Director, Brent Hample. "One of our partner organizations located in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh has mobilized a disaster team and has already begun distributing emergency food, firewood, medicines and blankets. They emailed from India: 'We went to the beach with our team. It was so terrible, the wind and waves were so hard; we could not stay longer but saw dead bodies coming up on the seashore. Hundreds of fishermen's small huts were erected on the seashore, all those huts were blown away. Sunday morning, the Hindu people came for a Holy bath in the ocean. All of a sudden the place became a graveyard. We were not able to control the people that lost their loved ones. Approximately 75 people have died at the seashore. Still people are looking for dead bodies that were caught in the trees near the sea.'"
Officials report as many as 4,600 could be dead on the southeast coast of India. Based on reports from India, tens of thousands have been rendered homeless and/or are injured, and many more people are missing.
Based on India Partners' 20 years of past experience working in India's natural disasters, the agency is in the process of gathering relief that will likely include emergency food, medicines and medical workers to help prevent outbreaks of diseases, and blankets & clothing for the displaced and homeless.
India Partners is well positioned to provide humanitarian help; the agency currently has partner organization offices along the southeast coast of India that include Madras-Chennai, Machilipatnam, and Kakinada. These towns are located in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, two of the hardest hit states of that country.
Long-term development programs in the area include child sponsorship programs, health programs, schools, and economic development activities that improve community access to food and clean water.
To make a donation to help India Partners provide an emergency response in India, here's how to help:
By internet: www.indiapartners.org
By phone: toll free: 1-888-870-9085, local: 541-683-0696
By mail: India Partners, Tsunami Relief, PO Box 5470 Eugene, OR 97405