For donations, please log on to the DEC website at www.dec.org.uk. An emergency phone line will be live from midday tomorrow.
The Disasters Emergency Committee agencies are Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
Brendan Gormley, DEC chief executive said: "Many of our agencies are already working in this part of the world, and we are receiving overwhelming evidence that funds are desperately needed for relief work. Thousands of families are experiencing terrible suffering, particularly children, and we must help in every way we can."
Notes to Editors
1. For press information please call 020 7387 0200 or 07921 655272 (out of hours).
2. The DEC criteria to launch an appeal are:
The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift international humanitarian assistance.
The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national Appeal.
There must be sufficient public awareness of, and sympathy for, the humanitarian situation so as to give reasonable grounds for concluding that a public Appeal would be successful.