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Tsunami tragedy: Your e-mails

Dec 30 (CNN) Here are a selection of eyewitness accounts from people who have e-mailed us at with their experiences of the devastation. We are also publishing your appeals for information about missing relatives and friends here. more..

Tsunami Animation

Dec 30 (WC) The US Geological Survey has a link to an animation of the course of yesterday's Indian Ocean tsunami created by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (650K download). Each frame is a ten-minute interval; the whole thing covers the first 180 minutes of the tsunami. more..

Sri Lanka's reclusive rebel makes rare plea to donors to help tsunami victims

Dec 30 (AP) The leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels issued a personal appeal Wednesday for international donations to assist ethnic Tamils affected by the tsunami that killed more than 22,000 people in the island nation. more..

Sri Lanka's war machine gears for relief as tsunami toll nears 22,500

Dec 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka mobilised its entire public service and the military into an internationally-backed relief operation to stave off hunger and disease as the tsunami death toll neared 22,500. more..

Let’s make year 2005 to reconstruct our motherland - JVP

Dec 30 (LT) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna in a PB statement on 29th December, urged the country to half mast the national flag at all the organizations and working places as the whole country is going through a period of disaster and morning. more..

Tsunami prompts olive branch from Tamil Tigers

Dec 30 (Reuters) Feared Tamil Tiger rebels appear to have offered an olive branch to their Sri Lankan foes, a month after threatening to return to war, as they struggle to cope with the aftermath of a devastating tsunami. more..

India rejects foreign aid for deadly tsunami relief work

Dec 30 (AFP) India has turned down foreign aid as it has "adequate resources" to provide relief to victims of a deadly tsunami that killed tens of thousands of Asians, a government official said. more..

Kilinochchi sends relief, medicine, doctors to Amparai

Dec 30 (TN) The Liberation Tigers sent six lorries from Kilinochchi with emergency supplies and a lorry load of medicine along with fifty doctors for relief operations on the Tsunami devastated Amparai coast. more..

'I said my goodbyes underwater'

Dec 30 (BBC) Britons arriving at Gatwick from Sri Lanka have told extraordinary stories of survival after Sunday's disaster. A sombre atmosphere hung over the airport as survivors, some with blankets around them, were greeted by pockets of relatives and friends on Wednesday. more..

One of world’s best surfing locations wiped out

Dec 30 (TN) Arugambay, an idyllic place by the sea on Sri Lanka’s southeast coast, is one of the ten best surfing locations in the world. Nothing is left of Arugambay now. The once busy tourist area is littered with corpses and debris. Surrounded by the Pottuvil lagoon and the sea, most of Arugambay was not only obliterated but was marooned by the Tsunami. more..

Sri Lankan tsunami victims speak to the WSWS

Dec 30 (wsws) With more dead bodies being discovered in the southern, eastern and northern coastal areas of Sri Lanka, the authorities admitted on Tuesday that the death toll from last Sunday’s tsunami could rise to 25,000. more..

They went to surf and almost got swept away

Dec 30 (HI) For the past several months, Eldad Eliyahu of Moshav Ein Yaakov has been working at a London picture frame store. For the past year he's been planning the surfing trip to the Indian Ocean, to Sri Lanka's beaches. more..

In Sri Lanka, political turmoil complicates recovery

Dec 30 (KRT) When the villagers heard the roar, they dropped to the ground. They knew what to do when the bombs fell. But they made a grim error, mistaking one danger for another. For this was no fighter jet, not like the ones that flew over in past years, waging a civil war with the rebel Tamil Tigers. more..

Fisheries sector gets severe beating

Dec 30 (SAMN) The Fisheries sector was severely hit following the catastrophic tidal waves displacing more than one million fisher families residing along the coastal belt and destroying some 29,000 fishing trawlers, Ministry sources said. more..

Omanthai military check point open till 9 a.m

Dec 30 (SAMN) The opening hours of army check point to traffic at Omanthai have been extended to 9 p.m. to facilitate the smooth flow of relief supplies meant for the victims of the tsunami disaster. more..

Police warns against sight seers

Dec 30 (SAMN) Police Headquarters Wednesday strictly warns all those who visit the disaster struck areas just for observation in the guise of distributing disaster relief aid, to refrain from doing so. more..

Tourism down, not out say officials

Dec 30 (SAMN) The prospects of better returns in the booming tourism industry has not been affected in the wake of the tsunami that hit the country on Sunday morning causing devastation to many of the coastline hotels in the southern and eastern region in addition to the increase in death toll to 100 by Wednesday morning. more..

Bahrain sends aid to Lanka

Dec 30 (GD) VOLUNTEERS from Bahrain have already travelled to Sri Lanka to help with relief operations, following Sunday's tidal wave disaster. The Sri Lankan Unit of Discover Islam will also send its first consignment of aid to tidal wave survivors tonight. more..

Sri Lanka hopes for reconciliation

Dec 30 (Hindu) "There was a deafening roar and we fell flat on the floor, thinking the war had started. We thought bombers were on the way. Then a soldier rushed to us and said: `run, run, it's the wave,'" Vijayakumar, one of the survivors in Manalkadu, a fishing village near Point Pedro in the Jaffna peninsula, told The Hindu this morning, more..

Tigers pounce on Sirasa relief

dec 30 (ANN) The LTTE Wednesday seized a large stock of supplies meant for the people displaced by Sunday’s tsunami in the Trincomalee district, officials said. LTTE cadres had seized lorry loads of supplies after threatening representatives of the MTV, security officials said. more..

Bodies still entombed in train swallowed by tsunami

dec 30 (AFP) The buzz of an electric chain saw pierces the air as it cuts through a coconut palm pinning a bloated corpse. It is the only sound of rescue here where the sea swallowed an entire train packed with 1,500 passengers. more..

Sri Lanka Worries About Disease Outbreaks

dec 30 (AP) Officials warned about possible disease outbreaks in crowded refugee centers Wednesday, while trucks and cargo planes ferried food, drinking water and medical supplies to some of the 1 million Sri Lankans made homeless by Asia's tsunami disaster. more..

ICRC sets up website to trace missing in tidal wave catastrophe

Dec 30 (AFP) The Red Cross said that it had set up a website to help families trace relatives who may be missing following the huge earthquake and devastating tidal waves around the Indian Ocean. more..

Reuters Photo

Dec 30 (Reuters) Asitha Fernando, a nine-year-old Sri Lankan boy, mourns the death of his mother in Koralawella, south of Colombo Sri Lanka December 28, 2004 who was killed when a tsunami hit the area on Sunday. more..

Navy’s role in Lanka reflects shift in bilateral ties

Dec 30 (IE) That the Indian Navy could join the relief operations in Sri Lanka that bore the brunt of the tsunami strike is a reflection of the positive state of current relations between New Delhi and Colombo as well as the level of mutual confidence between the two naval forces. more..

Amid horror, a miracle at Galle

Dec 30 (IE) As Sri Lanka decided to scrap their tour of New Zealand and reschedule it for another, less traumatic, time, one of world cricket’s more famous landmarks, Galle Fort, the backdrop to the Test venue, looked implacably on a scene of devastation. more..

Illinois woman killed in tsunami

Dec 30 (NBC) A woman from Illinois has been identified as one of the victims in this weekend's deadly tsunami that struck Sri Lanka. Tamara Mendis, a native Sri Lanka and the wife of an evangelical Lutheran minister, was in the country with her daughter for a family gathering. more..

Tending souls

Dec 30 (IE) Suresh Manyathela once had dreams of healing the mind and leading a congregation in prayer and singing songs of praise. Now in an ironic twist, the 27 year-old former Roman Catholic seminarian has become a gravedigger in the worst human disaster to hit Sri Lanka in modern times. more..

Families look for Tsunami survivors via Web Sites and Blogs

Dec 30 (AP) On hundreds of Web sites worldwide, the messages are brief but poignant: "Missing: Christina Blomee in Khao Lak" or "Where are you?" Some are nothing more than names, ages, nationalities. Others list details of where loved ones were last seen. Some have pictures of the missing. more..

Batticaloa refugees face epidemic hazard

Dec 30 (TN) More than forty thousand people who lost their homes and belongings in the Batticaloa district have found refuge in ninety four shelters – public buildings, schools and some places of worship, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Emergency Disaster Data Collection Centre more..

Some local residents feel tsunami’s wrath

Dec 30 (NW) E-mails, satellite news reports and Web sites have been a lifeline of information for a handful of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh professors who hail from tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka and southeastern Asia. As of Tuesday afternoon, K.L.D. Gunawardena didn’t know whether his uncle and cousins were still alive. more..

Local relief efforts on the move

Dec 30 (BBC) A team of Russian medical doctors were turned away by the LTTE in Killinochchi, reporters say. Divaina reporter in Vavuniya Dinasena Ratugamage says another team of foreign experts were also turned back at the Vavuniya air strip. more..

Sri Lanka: Aid slow to get through

Dec 30 (CNN) Delivering aid to Sri Lanka's tsunami-struck disaster areas is being hampered by poor transport, aid officials have told CNN. "Aid is trickling through, not flowing through," the chief executive of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, said from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Thursday. more..

India's cricketers unlikely to replace Sri Lanka in New Zealand

Dec 30 (AFP) India is unlikely to accept any offer to play in New Zealand in January in place of the Sri Lankans, who cancelled a tour in the wake of the Asian tsunami tragedy, an official said. more..

Clarke: Sri Lanka Needs Warning System

Dec 30 (AP) Sri Lanka's best known resident, science fiction writer and visionary Arthur C. Clarke, said Thursday he and his family were safe, but regretted the lack of a warning system in his adopted home of Sri Lanka. more..

Devastation in Sri Lanka 'too horrific'

Dec 30 (Age) Pictures from the north and east of Sri Lanka are too horrific for Australian audiences, says the only aid agency willing to venture into the tsunami-devastated area. "Most of the dead are children and rigor mortis has already set in," Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) spokesman Siva Sivasubramaniam said. more..

Sri Lankan players anxious to return home

Dec 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's cricketers face another anxious day's wait before returning home after their tour of New Zealand was postponed. The players are desperate to get home as quickly as possible but have been left stranded in Auckland because there are no available flights until Friday. more..

A believe-it-or-not story from Sri Lanka

Dec 30 (IANS) India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Nirupama Rao believes miracles still do happen. Otherwise, she says there is no reason why two Indian boys survived the tsunami waves that tore through Yala, the largest wildlife reserve in the island, that fateful Sunday, killing a large number of tourists including their parents. more..

Lanka tsunami victims had no insurance cover

Dec 30 (AFP) Most of Sri Lanka's tsunami victims had little or no insurance cover and total claims so far have been for less than 50 million dollars despite the vast scale of the destruction, the industry said on Thursday. more..

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister cuts short China visit

Dec 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has cut short his visit to China in view of the devastating tidal wave tragedy in the country for which Beijing has rushed relief goods worth around USD 1.22 million, the state media reported on Thursday. more..

SRK, Sunil Shetty to help Lanka tsunami victims

Dec 30 (HT) Bollywood stars Shahrukh Khan and Sunil Shetty would be among a galaxy of celebrities to render assistance to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, said Arjuna Ranatunga, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Industrial Development and former Sri Lanka cricket captain. more..

Most Lankan bodies go unclaimed; buried in mass graves

Dec 30 (HT) Up to 60 per cent of the dead bodies in tsunami-hit North Eastern Sri Lanka are either unclaimed or unidentified, and government agencies and the judiciary have ordered that they be buried without any ceremony in mass graves. more..

Integrate psychological counseling with relief effort- Prof Somasundaram

Dec 30 (TN) The display of syndrome of illnesses related to disaster and intense mental compression are well known occurrences amongst people affected by natural calamity, says Prof. Daya Somasundaram, a specialist in psychiatry attached to the Mental Health Division of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. more..

Kumaratunga bans house construction close to sea coast

Dec 30 (TN) Visiting the tsunami hit areas in the Southern Province, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Wednesday that "in the future as a safety measure construction of houses would not be allowed in areas close to the sea coast." more..

Thamilchelvan stresses urgent needs to Norway, international NGOs

Dec 30 (TN) Mr. Thamilchelvan, Head of the LTTE Political Wing, met with representatives of more than 60 international and UN aid agencies in Kilinochchi at 11.30 am Thursday. The urgent needs of the NorthEast, caused by the tsunami which struck the coast on Sunday, were explained to the representatives. more..

Bush telephones Ms Kumaratunge to express shock, concern

Dec 30 (TN) US President George W. Bush has telephoned President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday and conveyed his shock and concern at the disaster wrought by the tsunamis in Sri Lanka, a statement from the President's office said Thursday. The US President has also inquired as to how the US could be of assistance. more..

US Military advance planning teams arrive in Colombo

Dec 30 (TN) Advance teams for the US Military's disaster relief response arrived in Colombo Thursday to begin assessment efforts and plan humanitarian aid operations to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. more..


Dec 30 (SLA) The Government has declared Friday (31 December 2004) as National Day of Mourning appealing the public to perform religious observances in memory of all those who perished in the tsunami disaster as the National Flag will remain at half mast at all state buildings as a token of condolence at this hour of grief. more..

North East continues to receive Tsunami relief

Dec 30 (AT) Since the disaster on Sunday the 26th of December the Government Agents of affected areas in the North and East were requested to asses the damage to life and property and estimate the immediate requirements of the people displaced by the tidal waves. more..

Batticalao Relief activities on track: Sinhala neighbours from Polonnaruwa district rushed with food assistance for their Tamil neighbours

Dec 30 (AT) The Sri Lankan Government has sent a Deputy Minister to the Batticaloa District to take charge of the district coordination of relief activities for those affected by the Asian tsunami. It has also given an immediate allocation of ten million rupees for relief work in the disrict. more..