Day after the Tsunami

Posted on December 27, 2004  /  3 Comments

Dear friends, well-wishers and partners of LIRNEasia, all members of the LIRNEasia team based in Colombo are safe. Despite the devastation wrought by the tsunami over most of coastal Sri Lanka on Dec 26, our office is functioning.

Sarvodaya is grass-roots organization that has been around for 47 years and is doing an incredible job of getting relief to the tsunami victims. They have an extensive network of volunteers and stations in 34 Sri Lankan towns, including the most heavily damaged. Although they are busy providing temporary shelters, drinking water, food and medicine to tsunami victims, they are also gearing up for medium and long-term rehabilitation that includes reconstructing homes, providing trauma counselling, preventing outbreak of disease and providing a home to the orphaned children. Sarvodaya accepts donation by credit card (Mastercard & Visa), Paypal and other methods of sending money. Please visit their website:

On the poicy intervention front, we are moving fast on a disaster management proposal which will be written by a disaster management expert and will be presented in the third week of January to a group of 70 composed of disaster management experts, civil society groups, and representatives from government. Once this proposal is finalized it will presented to the President’s office and if adopted could probably save thousands of lives when disaster strikes us next, lives that were needlessly lost this time around….

Please check back for regular updates.

Many of you are looking for your relatives and acquaintances in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, we don’t have resources to locate them ourselves. But we can point you to organizations that are helping out in the search (please list more organizations you may be aware off):

Red Cross:


  1. I think as a nation and as a region we should seriously think about the role of ICTs / communications / media in a catastrophe, not only in preventing and minimising the damage, but in the recovery process as well. My personal opinion is that the impact would not have been this serious, were the communication channels were up and active.

    Surprisingly, all the telephone lines (both mobile and terrestrial) either went dead or congested immediately after the disaster. I can understand terrestrial lines going dead but what about the mobiles? Does this mean that in crisis situations we will be immediately disconnected from the rest of the world? Isn’t that too scary?

  2. The following news item is from Lanka Businessonline:

    Lanka Disaster – Lines Busted (28 December 2004 08:44 hours)

    Fixed line phone services in Tangalle, Hambantota and Matara are completely disrupted after the weekend tidal wave, Sri Lanka Telecom said today. The network was affected after the tidal wave submerged and severely damaged most coastal towns and fishing villages in the North, East and South of Sri Lanka.

    Services in the following 15 areas have been partially affected

    Hikkaduwa, Habaraduwa, Marawila, Kosgoda, Matara, Gomarankadawala, Baddegama, Kinniya, Bentota, Nagoda, Wanela, Beruwela, Udugama, Weerawila, Payagala

    Sri Lanka Telecom is making temporary arrangements to restore services to affected areas, with free services available in some areas for the public to convey urgent messages.

    The public has also been asked to contact the Sri Lanka Telecom Operator Assisted Service by dialing ‘101’ for information on relief centers and hospitals.

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