The Lanka Academic

 
DECEMBER 26, 2004 EST, USA
 
A NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED BY LACNET
 
VOL. 5, NO. 265

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Headline Summary
HELP THE VICTIMS OF THE TIDAL WAVE!
A massive tidal wave, created by a 8.9R earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, has caused severe damage in Sri Lanka. Here is how you can help the victims: Use your credit card to make a donation here. We will send all the donations collected to ease the suffering of our fellow Sri Lankans.
Alternatively, send a check payable to "Lanka Academic Network" (and marked "Tidal Wave Victims") to: Daya Weerakkody, LAcNet Treasurer, 9603 Avenel Road, Silver Spring, MD 20903-2311, USA. All donations are tax-deductible in the USA. LAcNet US Tax Id: 411-69-1170.

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Thousands dead across Asia in tidal waves after world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years
Associated Press, DECEMBER 27. DILIP GANGULY Associated Press Writer COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Helicopters dropped food, medicine, and generators as rescuers searched for survivors Monday from an undersea Asian earthquake of epic power that sent huge walls of water crashing down on beaches in eight countries, killing more than 11,300 people.

The death toll along the southern shores of Asia _ and as far west as Somalia on the African coast, where nine were reported killed _ was certain to increase, as authorities sorted out a far-flung disaster caused by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in 40 years.

Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India each reported thousands dead, and Thailand, a Western tourist hotspot, said hundreds were dead and thousands missing.

The earthquake hit at 6:58 a.m. (0058GMT) Sunday off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The tsunami came as much as 2 1/2 hours later, without warning, on a morning of crystal blue skies. Sunbathers and snorkelers, cars and cottages, fishing boats and even a lighthouse were swept away.

``It's an extraordinary calamity of such colossal proportions that the damage has been unprecedented,'' said Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa of India's southern state of Tamil Nadu, where the beaches turned into virtual open-air mortuaries.

``It all seems to have happened in the space of 20 minutes. A massive tidal wave of extreme ferocity ... smashed everything in sight to smithereens,'' she said.

Worst hit was Sri Lanka _ an island nation some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) west of the epicenter. The death toll stood at 4,500, according to police and Tamil Tiger rebels, and some 1 million people were displaced.

Sri Lanka's government declared a national disaster. So did the neighboring Maldives, a low-lying string of 1,192 coral atolls where 32 people were killed and communications and power were cut by the rushing waters.

The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the quake throughout Sunday to a magnitude of 9.0 _ the strongest since a 9.2 magnitude temblor in Alaska in 1964, and the fourth-largest in a century. The quake was nearly 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep and was followed by a half-dozen powerful aftershocks.

Traveling at nearly jetliner speeds, the first huge waves began pummeling southern Thailand an hour after the quake. In 2 1/2 hours, the torrents had traveled some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) and slammed India and Sri Lanka. They eventually struck Somalia.

Towns in Sumatra's Aceh province, the closest land to the earthquake's epicenter, were swamped by the waves. The health ministry said at least 4,185 people were killed, and hundreds more were missing. A reporter for The Associated Press saw several bodies wedged into trees in one village, apparently left there by receding waters.

The quake occurred at a place where several huge geological plates push against each other with massive force. The survey said a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) section along the boundary of the plates shifted, motion that triggered the sudden displacement of a huge volume of water.

The reverberations sent waves as high as six meters (20 feet) thundering into eight countries and sweeping away tourists, fishermen, hotels, homes and cars.

In Thailand, where the tourist season is at its peak as Europeans seek to escape frigid winters on tropical beaches, a government disaster center said 289 people were killed and more than 3,600 injured.

The nationalities of the dead remained mostly unknown, but the United States said three Americans were killed. Denmark said two of its citizens perished, and New Zealand reported one national dead.

In India, the waves swept away boats, homes and vehicles killing nearly 2,300 people in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry, officials said.

Sea water flooded the streets of Cuddalore town, flipping over dozens of cars and leaving some vehicles perched atop road dividers. At least 20,000 people were evacuated from the region, officials said.

In Malaysia, at least 42 people, including foreign tourists swimming or riding jetskis, were killed on the resort island of Penang, officials said. Two people were killed in Bangladesh.

From the Vatican, Pope John Paul II led appeals for aid for victims. Governments rushed to check whether their citizens were among the missing or dead.

``The Christmas holiday has been saddened by the news that comes from Southeast Asia about the powerful earthquake,'' the pontiff said during his customary Sunday address.

The 25-nation European Union promised to quickly deliver euro3 million (US$4 million) in emergency aid.

``For all the huge advances in the control of our lives through science and technology, an earthquake on this scale is truly humbling as well as profoundly tragic,'' said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Published: Sun Dec 26 23:51:06 EST 2004


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Sri Lanka short of doctors and medical supplies to treat injured
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 27, 2004, 2.00 a.m.. Sri Lanka experienced the deadly tsunami waves after more than 2000 years, reports said. Government officials lamented that if Sri Lanka was on the International Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning System then the impact would not have been this ‘terrible’. “We cannot prevent natural disasters, but we can minimize their impact,” he said. The Tsunami system predicts where tsunamis will strike up to 14 hours in advance.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is short of doctors to treat the thousands of injured, while hospitals are also short of medical supplies to treat the injured. The Government Medical Officers Unions and the Health Ministry a little while back urged all doctors, including those who practice privately, medical students, and nurses to come and assist them in treating the injured. It is also reported that in the Eastern province, authorities don’t even have cloth to wrap the dead bodies and bury them.
Published: Sun Dec 26 15:00:32 EST 2004 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka pleads for doctors  - news.com.au

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Tragedy unfolds in Sri Lanka, nearly 4,500 killed
ndtv.com, December 27. Nearly 12,000 people have been killed in South and South East Asia after a massive earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered off a series of killer waves, called tsunamis. Massive waves crashed into Sri Lankan villages along a wide stretch of coast killing at least 4,500 people and displacing a million others. "It is a huge tragedy and it is unfolding all the time," said Lalith Weerathunga, secretary to the prime minister. "The death toll is going up all the time." Police Chief Chandra Fernando said at least 3,000 people were dead in areas under government control. "But the good thing is that we are now reaching the people, and telling them we are there to help," Weerathunga said. More...
Published: Sun Dec 26 22:58:32 EST 2004 Back to the top

International and local relief comes pouring in for Sri Lanka
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 27, 2004, 12.32 a.m.. Just hours after Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga appealed for urgent international assistance; the Norwegian Government pledged Rs... Back to the top

American who survived tsunami tells of devastation Regular guest on 'Oprah' safe, but friend missing in Sri Lanka
CNN, Sunday, December 26, 2004 Posted: 8:41 PM EST. (CNN) -- A celebrity interior decorator vacationing in Sri Lanka said Monday that all he could see was "utter devastation" in the wake of a deadly tsunami that slammed the island... Back to the top

More than 11,000 dead across Asia in tidal waves after world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 18:04 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) An earthquake of epic power struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean on Sunday, unleashing 20-foot walls of water that came crashing down on beaches in seven Asian countries across thousands of miles, smashing seaside resorts and villages and leaving more than 11,000 dead in their wake... Back to the top

Sri Lankan community stunned by disaster
stuff.co.nz, 27 December 2004. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga called a national disaster after the tidal wave swamped the island's south and east coasts killing more than 4500 people and leaving another 750,000 homeless... Back to the top

Survivor tells of Sri Lanka tidal waves
nwsource.com, Sunday, December 26, 2004 · . AMBLANGODA, Sri Lanka -- The twisted limbs of the frail girl in a blue dress were caught in a garden fence by the sea... Back to the top

More tidal waves to hit Sri Lanka - death toll could be around 6000, reports claim
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 27, 2004, 1.26 a.m.. As the Sri Lankan death toll continued to rise, unconfirmed reports claimed that more tidal waves could hit Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Thousands dead across Asia in tidal waves after world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 18:53 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Helicopters dropped food, medicine, and generators as rescuers searched for survivors Monday from an undersea Asian earthquake of epic power that sent huge walls of water crashing down on beaches in eight countries, killing more than 11,300 people... Back to the top

Snapshots of a day of terror, tragedy in Asian quake, floods
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 15:03 EST . - - EDITOR'S NOTE: The following contains snapshots from the five countries hardest-hit by Sunday's earthquake and tsunami waves, including a personal account by an Associated Press reporter in Sri Lanka - AMBLANGODA, Sri Lanka - (AP) The twisted limbs of the frail-bodied girl were caught in a garden fence near the sea... Back to the top

Curfew in Galle owing to looting
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 26, 2004, 11.46 p.m.. Police today evening imposed curfew in Galle till tomorrow early morning, following many looting/smuggling incidents... Back to the top

All flights to Male suspended
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 27, 2004, 1.06 a.m.. The Katunayake International Airport suspended all flights to Male, after Maldivian authorities shut down the Male International Airport following the tidal waves incident which left more than two thirds of Maldives under water... Back to the top

LTTE seeks immediate relief for disaster hit North East
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 27, 2004, 12.55 a.m.. The LTTE has also sought urgent help from the International community to provide relief to the disaster affected civilians and areas in the North and East, the LTTE peace Secretariat announced... Back to the top

S.Lanka says 22 killed by tsunami may be Japanese
alertnet.org, 26 Dec 2004 22:22:39 GMT. COLOMBO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan rescue workers have found the bodies of 22 people the government suspects are Japanese tourists killed by the worst tsunami in living memory, the Prime Minister's office said on Monday... Back to the top

Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India hit hardest
IHT Online, Monday, December 27, 2004. BANGKOK The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years sent tidal waves smashing into Asian shorelines and holiday resorts from Thailand to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives on Sunday, leaving a death toll that may have exceeded 11,000 people, with many thousands more missing, according to various reports... Back to the top

Tidal waves caused by earthquake hit Sri Lanka ; 4,500 people killed, 1 million affected
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 10:46 EST . DILIP GANGULY - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Massive waves triggered by earthquakes crashed into Sri Lankan villages along a wide stretch of coast on Sunday, killing at least 4,500 people and displacing a million of others, Sri Lankan officials and a pro-Tamil Tiger Web site said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka searches for survivors
BBC News, Sunday, 26 December, 2004, 14:51 GMT . A long stretch of Sri Lanka's coast has been devastated by Sunday's tidal waves, with more than 2,400 dead and up to a million displaced... Back to the top

Warning system doesn't extend to Indian Ocean nations where death toll is highest
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 18:02 EST . JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA - AP Science Writer - DENVER (AP) The catastrophic death toll in Asia caused by a massive tsunami might have been reduced had India and Sri Lanka been part of an international warning system designed to warn coastal communities about potentially deadly waves, scientists say... Back to the top

Bush expresses condolences to earthquake, tidal wave victims, promises relief help
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 14:04 EST . The statement also says U-S relief efforts are already under way in Sri Lanka and the Maldive (mahl-DEYEV') Islands, a string of coral atolls off the southwestern coast of India... Back to the top

Death toll could be more than 2500, officials predicts
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 26, 2004, 5.25 p.m.. Prime Minister’s office at 4.45 p.m. confirmed that some 1500 have died due to the Tsunami waves... Back to the top

Asia quake, tsunamis kill 4,800
cnn.com, Sunday, December 26, 2004 Posted: 11:08 AM ES. (CNN) -- Massive tsunamis triggered by the largest earthquake to shake the planet in over 40 years have wiped out coastal areas across southeastern Asia, killing more than 4,800 people -- most of them in Sri Lanka and India... Back to the top

Naval warships leave for Sri Lanka, relief sent to Andaman
hinduonnet.com, Sunday, December 26, 2004 : 1550 Hrs. New Delhi, Dec. 26 (PTI): Five naval warships loaded with relief supplies have left for Sri Lanka as Indian Air Force despatched three AN-32 transport aircraft carrying relief and medical supplies to earthquake and tidal wave devastated Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands. Naval Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, has directed that five naval warships from Mumbai, Cochin and Vishakhapatnam to set sail for Trincomallee and Galle ports in Sri Lanka in response to a SOS received from the Sri Lankan Government... Back to the top

Quake, Tsunami Hit South Asia; 4,500 Feared Dead
reuters.com, Sun Dec 26, 2004 08:04 AM ET . COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - The world's biggest earthquake in 40 years hit southern Asia Sunday, unleashing a tsunami that crashed into Sri Lanka and India, drowning thousands and swamping tourist isles in Thailand and the Maldives... Back to the top

Sri Lanka declares national disaster
theaustralian.news.com.au, December 27, 2004. SRI Lanka declared a national disaster yesterday as the first tsunami to hit the Indian Ocean island in 16 years killed more than 2200 people... Back to the top

President hurrying back from UK
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 26, 2004, 5.06 p.m.. President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to hurry back to Sri Lanka, following the tidal waves incident, which occurred today morning... Back to the top

Pope calls for aid for Asia quake victims; first assistance en route
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 13:02 EST . FRANCES D'EMILIO - Associated Press Writer - Hours after Europe woke up to the news of thousands of deaths and wide areas of evacuated villages in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Maldives and elsewhere, the pope coupled his prayers for the victims ``of this enormous tragedy'' with an appeal to the international community to quickly act... Back to the top

Some 1,500 dead in Sri Lanka, Maldives in tsunami
xinhuanet.com, 2004-12-26 18:34:47. COLOMBO, Dec. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Sri Lankan prime minister's office said Sunday that some 1,500 people were killed and 1 million affected as tsunami tidal waves caused by an earthquake off Indonesia smashed into the island. Massive sea waves, triggered by earthquakes of over 8 degrees on the Richter scale in Southeast Asia, crashed into coastal villages over a wide area of Sri Lanka on Sunday, killing more than 1,000 people and displacing 500,000 others, officials and hospital doctors said... Back to the top

Sea surges kill thousands in Asia
BBC News, Sunday, 26 December, 2004, 10:00 GMT . Thousands of people have been killed across south and east Asia in massive sea surges triggered by the strongest earthquake in the world for 40 years... Back to the top

Tidal waves tragedy continues in Sri Lanka with second wave, another expected shortly - Toll 1000 in SL alone.
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 26, 2004, 2.14 p.m.. A second tidal wave hit Sri Lanka at around 12 noon leaving many more thousands affected... Back to the top

300 prisoners escape as tsunami destroys jail in Sri Lanka:
newkerala.com, Sunday, Dec 26th, 13:24GMT. [World News]: Colombo, Dec 26 : Some 300 prisoners made a clean getaway after huge tidal waves caused by a massive earthquake today destroyed a high-security jail in southern Sri Lanka's coastal town of Matara, police said... Back to the top

Sri Lanka deploys military to tackle tsunami destruction
spacewar.com, Dec 26, 2004. Sri Lanka deployed the military and asked help from neighbouring India for a major relief operation after tidal waves flooded coastal areas Sunday, killing at least 160 people, the prime minister said... Back to the top

Japan mulls sending relief team to Sri Lanka over tsunami disaster+
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 07:51 EST . TOKYO, Dec. 26 (Kyodo) Japan began preparing Sunday to send a disaster relief team to Sri Lanka at the request of its government following massive tsunami damage from a powerful earthquake that struck off Indonesia's Sumatra Island, Foreign Ministry officials said. The tidal waves killed more than 1,500 people in Sri Lanka and 1,000 in India, while the disaster took the lives of at least 497 people on Sumatra, local authorities and media reports said... Back to the top

Putin sends condolences to leaders of Asian nations hit by tidal waves
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 06:52 EST . Putin sent telegrams expressing condolences to leaders of India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, the Kremlin said in a statement... Back to the top

At least 1000 dead as waves hit Sri Lanka
smh.com.au, December 26, 2004 - 8:10PM. Sri Lanka declared a national disaster today as officials said the first tsunami to hit the Indian Ocean island in 16 years had killed 1000 people... Back to the top

Asian quake, wave toll hits 1,000
CNN, DECEMBER 26. - More than 500 people are feared dead after the largest earthquake to shake the planet in nearly 40 years jolted Southeast Asia Sunday... Back to the top

More than 475 reported dead after tidal wave surge from massive earthquake in Indonesia
Associated Press, DECEMBER 26. JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ One of the world's most powerful earthquakes in years rocked northern Indonesia on Sunday and launched tidal waves that slammed shorelines across Asia, killing some 300 in Sri Lanka and almost 100 in Indonesia, officials said... Back to the top

PM offers help to Lanka, speaks to CMs of quake-hit states
hinduonnet.com, DECEMBER 26. New Delhi, Dec.26. (PTI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today offered all assistance to Sri Lanka and asked two Union ministers to oversee relief and rescue work in earthquake and tidal waves affected regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondichery and the Andamans... Back to the top

Strong Quake, Tsunami Hit Southern Asia, 650 Killed
Reuters, DECEMBER 26. COLOMBO (Reuters) - A huge earthquake hit southern Asia on Sunday, setting off a tsunami that drowned hundreds in Sri Lanka and India, sent Indonesians rushing to high ground and washed away bathers on the Thai tourist island of Phuket... Back to the top

Massive tidal waves hit Sri Lanka , 300 dead, 100,000 affected
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 01:57 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Massive sea waves, apparently triggered by earthquakes in Southeast Asia, crashed into coastal villages over a wide area of Sri Lanka - on Sunday, killing 300 people and displacing 100,000 others, officials said... Back to the top

Eyewitness: Sri Lanka tsunami
bbc.co.uk, DECEMBER 26. I'm in a town called Unawatuna, which is on the south coast of Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Tidal Wave Hits Sri Lanka
Lanka Business Online, 26 December 2004 10:24 hours . The Eastern Coast seems to be worst hit with authorities in Mutur reporting the recovery of over hundred bodies... Back to the top

Hundreds feared killed by Tsunami waves in east
tamilnet.com, DECEMBER 26. Initial reports from the east said that many coastal villages of the Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai districts were hit by powerful tidal waves causing extensive destruction and killing at least two hundred... Back to the top

Massive tidal waves hit Sri Lanka , main port in Colombo closed, coastal areas hit
Associated Press, Sun December 26, 2004 00:46 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Massive waves crashed into coastal villages over a wide area of Sri Lanka - on Sunday, killing 160 people and displacing thousands of others, officials said Sunday... Back to the top

Tragedy strikes Sri Lanka: Sea erupts leaving hundreds dead and thousands homeless
Alladin Hussein in Colombo, December 26, 2004, 11.56 a.m.. Tragedy struck Sri Lanka today morning when the sea erupted in the early hours of today resulting in hundreds losing their lives and thousands more affected... Back to the top

Strong quake rocks SE Asia, havoc in Lanka
TOI, DECEMBER 25. COLOMBO: A huge earthquake rocked Southeast Asia on Sunday, setting off tsunami tidal waves that killed more than 150 people in Sri Lanka, sent residents rushing to high ground in Indonesia and washed into Chennai and the Thai tourist island of Phuket... Back to the top

Tidal waves hit Sri Lanka
news.com.au, December 26, 2004. MASSIVE tidal waves hit eastern and southern Sri Lanka today causing flash floods and displacing thousands of people, police said... Back to the top

Sri Lankan government says it will adhere to cease-fire
Associated Press, Sat December 25, 2004 01:57 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lanka - 's government on Saturday pledged to adhere to a truce with the Tamil Tiger rebels, despite failed efforts to revive peace talks to end the island nation's two decade-long civil war... Back to the top

Peace closer despite Tigers rejection of new offer : Sri Lanka:
newkerala.com, Dec. 25. Colombo, Dec. 25 : Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga today voiced confidence that peace was closer than ever in Sri Lanka even though Tamil Tiger rebels rejected her latest offer to revive stalled negotiations. "Much of the groundwork directed towards the fulfilment of our hopes has been done," Kumaratunga said... Back to the top

Lanka, Vietnam replicate Bangladesh WM model
Yahoo, December 25, 2004, 01:35 EDT. Two cities of Vietnam and Sri Lanka replicated a Bangladesh model of community based solid waste management approach to turn the organic municipal garbage into fertiliser, officials said in Dhaka on Friday, reports BSS... Back to the top

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