Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami Flash Appeal 2005

6 January 2005

Regional, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Seychelles, Somalia and Sri Lanka

In the early hours of the morning of Sunday 26 December 2004 a massive earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck the west coast of northern Sumatra. The epicentre was some 30 kilometres under the seabed and 250 kilometres south-southwest of Banda Aceh. The first quake was followed by aftershocks ranging from 6 to 7.3, themselves large enough to destroy thousands of lives and livelihoods. The quake triggered powerful tsunamis reaching ten metres in height, and these moved through neighbouring parts of the Indian Ocean at over 500 kilometres an hour wrecking coastal areas in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Maldives, as well as in Myanmar, Seychelles, and Somalia.

The tsunamis flooded coastal areas and wiped away homes and buildings, roads and bridges, water and electricity supplies, crops, irrigation and fishery infrastructure, food and fuel networks. To date, an estimated 139,000 people lost their lives and some 18,000 still are missing. In the affected areas economic life has ground to a halt; businesses have collapsed. Millions of people have seen their families and communities torn apart. The trauma caused by this devastating catastrophe cannot be underestimated.

The disaster predominantly affected poor communities where people lived on marginal land.  Their livelihoods have been destroyed and they have been stripped of the few assets they possessed.  External assistance is essential to provide the basis for recovery.

Worldwide solidarity with the affected populations has been swift and generous, and must continue well beyond the immediate disaster period. This flash appeal reflects the efforts of some forty United Nations (UN) agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to plan and implement a strategic, efficient, and coordinated response to the needs of some 5 million people. Programmes focus on keeping people alive and supporting their efforts to recover, for example in the agriculture, education, health, food, shelter, or water and sanitation sectors. Reaching isolated communities is a serious challenge because of the destruction of transport infrastructure and communication systems. This requires the establishment of complex logistics and operations platforms. Strong coordination with Governments and between Governments and the international aid community will ensure that assistance is efficient and reaches the people who need aid most.

This Flash Appeal focuses on supporting people in Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Seychelles, Somalia and Sri Lanka from January to the end of June 2005, and calls for US$ 977 million to fund the critical work of some forty UN agencies and NGOs.
 

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6 January 2005

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