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Asia: Earthquake and Tsunamis - Appeal No. 28/2004 Operations Update No. 12 - Focus on East Africa region


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In Brief

Revised Preliminary Appeal No. 28/2004; Operations Update no. 12; Period covered: 26 December 2004 to 7January 2005; Appeal coverage: 140.9% (Click here to view the provisional contributions list attached, 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 500,000 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:

As reflected in the map on page 2, the tsunami reached the islands of the Indian Ocean and eastern shores of Africa. The African National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies placed various teams and volunteersi n place to assess the situation and to offer assistance. As well, many natio nal societies not directly affecte d by the tsunami have mounted national fund-raising efforts in support of the Federation Appeal.


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 tsunamis, that swept into coastal villages and seaside resorts. The earthquake epicentre was located at 3.30 N, 95.78E at a depth of 10 km (see map). 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 h t erefore the level of preparedness was very low.

This current Operations Update focuses on the impact of the tsunami on Eastern Africa regional countries: Somalia, Kenya, Somalia and the Indian Ocean islands of Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Island.


Some 10 days after the disaster, the casualty toll continues to mount. Latest estimated deaths are over 145,000 (this figure is now anticipated to rise to over 194,000), with over 520,000 injured and over 17,000 missing. The numbers of displaced and homeless people cannot be confirmed but are expected to remain at 1,726,000 and over 1,026,000 respectively (please see the summary document available on the Federation's Disaster Management Information System, or DMIS, at These figures are still expected to increase.

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 (ERU) in the sectors of water and sanitation, health care, aid distribution, telec ommunications, and logistics/transportation. Their daily reports are now arriving, providing a valuable source for the ongoing Federation response, and operational adjustments.

The following relates to the specific impact in Eastern Africa region and the resulting needs of affected communities.

Eastern Africa Region

Operational Developments

The regional disaster preparedness programme has developed a pool of Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) trained personnel who were deployed at national level for this response; the RDRT needs to be further exercised and trained. The response was hampered by the absence of regional disaster preparedness stocks while Federation contracted suppliers are not easily accessed in the region. Logistics management skills are lacking in key national societies in the region, including Seychelles and Somalia. Information needs were only partly met due to communication difficulties. Early warning mechanisms have been lacking both within and between nation states and national societies.

Federation Support

In December, the Federation trained a number of Somalia Red Crescent branch staff in contingency planning and vulnerability and capacity assessment. Trainees included key staff from the Garowe and Galkayo branches who were able to put these skills into action during the assessment and initial response.

During January, the Federation RDN IT team will upgrade the communications infrastructure in the Somali RCS branches of Garowe, Galkayo and Bosaso which are at the forefront of the response.

The Federation, working closely with the PIROI and French Red Cross, have trained four members of the Seychelles Red Cross as members of the Regional Disaster Response Team and one as Field Assessment and Coordination Team who were active in the initial response.

Throughout the initial response the Regional Delegation Nairobi and Somalia Delegation maintained constant contact with the national societies affected, communicated information on the disaster impact and response operations as they emerged, coordinated with other members of the RCRC movement, UN agencies and NGOs. Operational support was given to the Seychelles Red Cross to arrange air transportation of relief supplies and disaster preparedness stocks and to Somalia Red Crescent to advise on assessments and technical responses. Media coverage, advocacy activities and promotion of national society work was mainly done by the Regional Information Delegate and the Heads of regional and Somalia Delegations. Interviews and briefings were given to the BBC radio (English and French services), ITN TV news (UK), Reuters (local and European offices), AFP (Agence France Presse), DPA (German News Agency), Radio Canada, South African radios, RFI (Radio France Internationale), as well as the Independent newspaper. Support was also given to national societies who launched national appeals notably Kenya, Uganda Red Cross.

Plan of action

A comprehensive plan of action for response, rehabilitation and preparedness for Somalia, Seychelles with regional disaster preparedness has been prepared and an initial 1,000,000 CHF approved and allocated.

For the East Africa Region, disaster preparedness stocks will be purchased and pre positioned in Nairobi, a Regional Disaster Response training exercise will be partly supported (part funding already committed by British Red Cross) a regional logistics training event conducted, national society information and communication equipment and skills increased. A regional learning review event is planned in January to examine the responses and identify key cross cutting regional initiatives such as improvement of early warning mechanisms.

See narrative Plan of Action in sections below for Somalia and Seychelles.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Geneva: Iain Logan, Federation Head of Tsunami Operations Coordination; Email i a; Phone41 .22.730.42.58; Fax 41.22.733.03.95 (also covering Sri Lanka).

In Geneva: Sian Bowen, Media Dept.; Email; Phone 41.22.730.44.28; Fax 41.22.733.03.95

In Kenya: Anitta Underlin, Federation Head of Eastern Africa Regional Delagation, Nairobi; Email; Phone; Fax

In Kenya: Steve Penny, Federation Disaster Management Coordinator, Eastern Africa Regional Delagation, Nairobi; Email; Phone; Fax

In Geneva: Josse Gillijns, Federation Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Dept.; Email j o; 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 full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at

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