Sunday, December 26, 2004

Onsite Update :: from DP in Chennai [1]


The 8.9 earthquake at Sumatra, Indonesia and the resultant Tsunami have devastated many regions in South India. Relief work in progress.

1. Here is what some of the volunteers are doing about it. Principal Margaret is assessing the needs at Urur village - this is one of the villages that took a direct hit and Asha has been supporting the education needs at this village since year 2000; Siddhamma is working on assessing impact at Thiruvallur. Chandravel is deeply engaged at relief work in Marina beach. Work in progress to compile data about affected Asha projects in other South Indian villages.

2. Here is what we are doing next. A number of Asha volunteers are having an emergency meeting at Asha Home [T58A, 32nd Cross St, Besant Nagar, Chennai] today at 8:30 AM to assess the impact to all Asha supported villages and projects and develop an action plan to reach out beginning with these projects. Site visits to as many villages as possible are planned throughout the week.

3. Every effort is being made to interlock with relief work already in progress by the government and other organizations.

4. If you are involved in an Asha project in the coastal Tamilnadu, Andhra, Orissa, Kerala region, and need help in reaching out to your project, send a note to

5. Some of us got to see the Tsunami first hand. The sea receded upto 500m (almost fading into a distant horizon; it was a surreal ,unearthly, life-changing experience) and came back at very high speeds with massive tidal waves measuring 10-20 feet, invading the inlands by upto 500m more than normal, washing/tossing/crashing every man made structure inbetween effortlessly. The massive oscillations (receding and invading) continued for about 20 minutes. Several died on the spot. Some managed to escape with bruises all over. Some of us were lucky being just barely outside the range of impact.

6. The CM of Tamilnadu who has been visiting the disaster sites by helicopter said, this might be the worst natural disaster in Indian history considering the damage done by the Tsunami (all in less than 20 minutes). Over 12,000 dead overall (Andaman, SriLanka, Tamilnadu among worst hit, apart from the Indonesian region); Over 1567-3000 dead in Tamilnadu...and many hundreds are still missing. Breakdown shows the following regions as the worst hit so far. Nagapattinam - 788; Kadalur - 290; Kanyakumari - 261; Chennai - 128; Kanchipuram -
59; Tiruvallur - 13. Andhra, Kerala, Orissa are reporting losses of around 100 lives each. The statistics on Indian TV channels varies and it will take a few more days to get the complete and exact picture.

More updates will follow shortly


Blogger Ananth said...

Hi all,

This is Ananth, Projects Co-Ordinator, Asha-UFlorida. I have got in touch with Ms.Shiamala Baby, FORWORD project,and here is the update.

She is fine, and preliminary analysis says all the kids and families are safe ! The School Infrastructure's have not sufferred much damage.

But the families of the children seem to have sufferred a bit. The affected families have been temporarily re located to an Ashram nearby, and shelter has been provided. Also, Relief measures have been rushed in, and as of yesterday, Ms.Shiamala Baby, has quoted to have distributed more than 100 kgs of Rice, and stuff.

I have requested her to make a Damage Assessment Report, and send it over to us as soon as possible.

I will keep you all updated.



Projects Co-Ordinator, Asha-UFlorida.

December 29, 2004 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Ananth said...


Hey Guys,

This is Ananth again ... I am going to India, by the 3rd week of January. I am from Madras, and shall definitely visit the affected areas, to see what I can do. I can also contact/visit, our Projects, for First Hand Information, and to provide Relief Measures, if any.

I can be reached at:

I will update you all about my Trip soon.



Projects Co-Ordinator, Asha-UFlorida.

December 29, 2004 at 8:25 AM  
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