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Asian earthquake and tsunamis - 29 Dec. 2004

29-12-2004 News Release

Following the disaster in Asia, the ICRC is concentrating its relief efforts on Sri Lanka and the Indonesian province of Aceh where it already has a strong presence. The overall relief operations of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement are being coordinated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The ICRC has begun the distribution of relief items in parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka that were hard hit by the flooding that followed the Asian tsunamis. Working closely with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, the ICRC is helping to evacuate the wounded, remove dead bodies and assist those displaced by the disaster.

The ICRC has delivered emergency supplies such as tarpaulins, clothing and hygiene kits to around 1,000 families affected by flooding in the town of Point Pedro on the northern Jaffna peninsula. The organization is also providing support for two Sri Lankan Red Cross mobile clinics serving displaced persons in the area.

    In the Vanni and Mullaitivu areas of northern Sri Lanka, the ICRC and the National Society have distributed relief supplies to about 1,500 families and delivered 1,500 body bags. In eastern areas, the wounded are being evacuated and dead bodies are being taken away as quickly as possible.
 
Over the coming days, the ICRC plans to provide aid for some 150,000 people in the northern and eastern areas of the country.
 
An ICRC cargo plane h as already delivered more than 100 tons of emergency supplies from the organization's logistics centre in Nairobi, enough to provide for the basic needs of 50,000 people.
 
Further shipments of emergency articles will be made to affected areas throughout the week.
 
In Indonesia, the office in Banda Aceh is operational again. The ICRC, whose warehouse was partially destroyed, has handed over to the National Society relief items such as tarpaulins and hygiene kits for around 1,000 families. Additional ICRC staff are on their way to the areas worst hit.