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India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka: Earthquake and Tsunami OCHA Situation Report No. 16

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Date: 10 Jan 2005

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0008
OCHA Situation Report No. 16
Earthquake and Tsunami
India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka

  • Jan Egeland, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, will chair a ministerial-level meeting on 11 January 2005 for Member States and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee which will discuss and update support for the tsunami relief effort.
  • On 6 January 2005, the United Nations and its partners launched a Flash Appeal to respond to the urgent and immediate needs of the communities severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The Flash Appeal focuses on supporting people in Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia and Sri Lanka from January to the end of June 2005, and calls for USD 977 million to fund the critical work of some forty UN agencies and NGOs.



According to the Government of India, the death toll is at 10,136. The total number of missing persons is at 5,630.

An all Party meeting was convened on 9 January 2005 to discuss the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the Tsunami affected areas and assistance provided to the neighbouring countries in the region affected by the Tsunami. The Government informed that a Bill will be introduced in the Parliament during the coming Budget Session for establishing the National Disaster Management Authority and the Central Legislation on Disaster Management in the country.

UN response

United Nations Children’s Fund

A large consignment of UNICEF supplies of essential medicines is to leave Chennai by ship on 10 January 2005 for Andaman and Nicobar. UNICEF has mobilized nutritional status monitoring tools to be deployed in affected districts. UNICEF is preparing strategies for short-term interventions in education in the worst affected blocks of Nagapattinam, Cudallore and Tirunelveli districts in Tamil Nadu. UNICEF has completed the immunization campaign in all tsunami affected districts of Tamil Nadu.



As of 10 January 2005, the Department of Social Affairs revised the number of victims in Aceh and North Sumatra from 113,306 persons (as reported on 9 January 2005) to 104,055 persons. 10,088 persons are reportedly missing and 655,144 of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are living in temporary shelters and camps.

An aftershock of a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale occurred in the Northwest of Sumatra on 9 January 2005 at 22:12:53 (UTC). No reports on additional damage in the Banda Aceh area.

Health: The World Health Organization (WHO) and related agencies have started an early warning system for diseases surveillance and outbreak control. Tetanus toxoid and serum for prevention of tetanus has been distributed to hospitals and selected mobile clinics. It is also reported that the development of measles outbreak control plan is in progress. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has received one confirmed measles case in Banda Aceh. There have been some detected cases of diarrhoea among IDPs, but no evidence of cholera.

Child Protection: A coordination group on child protection has been set up between governmental institutions, NGOs and UN agencies. The group has developed three task forces focusing on psychological assistance, family reunification and tracing for children. UNICEF is assigned to take the lead. The Government of Indonesia (GoI) issued a presidential decree to ban any form of adoption of Acehnese children during the emergency period; the decree also focuses on family reunification. UNICEF reported that the Department of Social Affairs is investigating temporary shelter to house children that are without surviving parents.


Air operations:

Problems with congestion at Banda Aceh and Medan airports continue. The lack of sufficient landing slots and airport handling capacity in Banda Aceh is causing cargo to be retained in Subang UN air hub. Prioritization of cargo is being done by UNJLC.

Insufficient supply of fuel in Meulaboh and in Sibolga for helicopter operations to the west coast south of Meulaboh.

Some 40 multi-sectoral assessment missions in western Sumatra will be carried out with rotary aircraft provided by the US military, starting on 11 January 2005.

Passenger service will improve with an 8-seat business jet operating as of 10 January 2005 out of Subang; UNHAS Subang in charge of tasking and booking of the aircraft.

Road transport/shipping/ports:

Road between Banda Aceh and Meulaboh severely damaged. UNJLC assumes road is not passable. The only means of access are by sea or air; UNJLC is conducting assessment of possible locations for docking ships.

Port of Banda Aceh also being assessed by UNJLC to determine capacity for larger ships.

Port in Medan suffers delays and more assessments are needed.

Electricity: Indonesian Electric Company (PLN) has transported several drums of fuel to operate the generators at the costal town of Lamno. There is no electricity in Calang due to lack of generators. About 200 individual generators are already operating in Meulaboh. Cables and light bulbs are still required.

Communications: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Indonesia reported that phone system (cdma system) in Meulaboh has been established.


  • Continued bottlenecks at Banda Aceh and Medan airports due to limited capacity
  • Limited in-province warehouse facilities and trucking capacity
  • Limited operational infrastructure (communication, roads, accommodation) along the west coast.

Coordination mechanisms

A field base has been established in Meulaboh. An ongoing presence on the ground represents a base from which to operate, to coordinate further landings, communications and logistics. In addition, it facilitates the coordination of needs assessments closer to the ground.

HIC has started consolidating a spatial database by updating info on provincial, district and sub-district boundaries for the purpose of assessment input. It also started a database of IDP numbers and locations using info from various sources including the University of Indonesia, the Government, and the U.S. Army. A Who Does What Where database is being set-up at the sub-district-level.

An IASC group meets on a daily basis. A common assessment framework has been set up and is being implemented, and a logistics coordination cell, led by JLC, has begun to operate. In addition, daily inter-agency/NGO meetings continue, as do sector group meetings.

In Jakarta, the Indonesian Government established a joint Disaster Management Centre (DMC) with the United Nations at the Office of the Vice-President, which is to set priorities for the management and coordination of international relief efforts. The Centre will ensure that the Government and the UN are working with the same baseline data on the affected people – who they are and what their needs are. Data will be collated and analysed at the DMC to provide useable and consistent information for the prioritisation of the needs to assist the affected population on a sustained basis. The United Nations will complement the Government’s capabilities in the DMC with the resources of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC). It is planned that six UN staff members will be based at the Centre, which is expected to continue beyond the emergency stage of the disaster into recovery and early rehabilitation efforts.

The World Food Programme announced its new Humanitarian Air Hub at the Subang Air Base in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in partnership with the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The new hub is dedicated to serving UN and other aid groups shipping relief supplies into Indonesia as well as other countries affected by the earthquake/tsunami. The Air Hub will be managed jointly by WFP, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC).

UN response

Food and Agriculture Organization

The FAO is planning to provide technical and material assistance to the Indonesian authorities and community groups to facilitate the provision of critical agriculture/fishery support and extension services to 60,000 disaster affected households.

United Children’s Fund

UNICEF has confirmed one measles case in Banda Aceh. Immediate action has been taken to vaccinate all the children in the vicinity (ring vaccination). The Government measles/vitamin A campaign supported by WHO and UNICEF, started on 6 January 2005 and continues to date. UNICEF dispatched vaccines to MSF who will conduct the vaccination in Meulaboh. There are several cases of diarrhoea detected amongst IDPs. UNICEF has ordered 1 million sachets of Oral Rehydration Salt and is coordinating with Helen Keller International to give zinc to patients with diarrhoea. UNICEF is coordinating with WFP and CDC in nutrition assessments and oversight of nutrition needs for IDPs. By 11 January 2005, UNICEF will have a total of five registration centres running, (the existing 1 and 4 new centres). Four centres will be in Banda Aceh and one centre will be located 40 km outside of Banda Aceh.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR has shelter materials for 100,000 people, ready for utilization in temporary settlements to be established around Banda Aceh. UNHCR is also currently assisting Public Works with a housing plan.

World Food Programme

335 metric tons of rice were distributed in the past two days, in addition to noodles and high energy biscuits. Remaining commodities of canned fish and oil are now in the pipeline and distribution of these items will commence early next week. 72,183 IDP’s have now received WFP food aid out of the identified total of 110,000 beneficiaries for the Aceh Besar and Banda Aceh regions. The target of completing a full month’s distribution by 15 January 2005 is still on course (not including oil and canned fish). In addition, WFP provided 15 metric tons of rice through USAID (total to date: 45 metric tons) for distribution to the west coast by US Navy helicopters. This method of distribution will be continued until collaborating partners to assist with the distribution on the ground are identified.



The focus in Malaysia has now switched from emergency humanitarian relief efforts to recovery and reconstruction, and most of the 8,000 Malaysians in relief centres in Kula Muda, and Kuala Triang, in Kedah, and Balik Pulau in Penang have been allowed to return home. The homeless will live in temporary structures until they have been resettled in permanent accommodation.

On 7 January 2005, the UN Country Team (UNCT) fielded a third rapid assessment mission to meet with senior local officials and victims in temporary shelters. The mission observed that those remaining in the shelters were being well looked after, physical conditions are good and all sectoral needs are being handled well - earlier the UNCT (with UNICEF support) had procured baby food and vitamins for the centres.

Malaysia has agreed to allow Subang, its former international airport on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, to become a Humanitarian Air Hub for the UN’s work in Aceh. WFP and UNICEF are already using the airport. Subang is about 90 minutes flying time from Banda Aceh, and the Hub will be jointly managed with the Royal Malaysian Air Force.



The death toll stands at 82 people and 26 people are still missing.


  • The US AID informed that the US Navy will arrive in the coming days with a container vessel carrying the following items: landing crafts and desalination capacity of 25,000 gallons/day (95,000ltrs/day). They are working on loading landing crafts, course ways and motorized barges.
  • The US AID has established a permanent presence in the Maldives (Male).
  • The USA, United Kingdom, and France are coordinating their military efforts for delivering relief items in the region.
  • Seventy-nine inhabited islands no longer have water supply. Water has to be shipped from Male.
  • There is a need for bulldozers and heavy equipment to clear debris and to repair damaged infrastructure.

Coordination mechanisms

In order to ensure that appropriate aid and quantities are sent to the country, please consult with the Government’s Crisis Task Force through the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Department of External Resources:

UN response

Food and Agriculture Organization

The FAO is planning to provide seeds, tools and other agricultural inputs, replace and repair fishing materials as well as rehabilitate basic productive fisheries infrastructure.

United Nations Development Programme

UNDP is shipping a wide array of construction materials required for the repair of the damaged houses. In partnership with the Banyan Tree of the Maldives, UNDP will be starting the repair and reconstruction work in a week’s time.

World Food Programme

To date a total of 112 High Energy Biscuits (HEB) have been delivered to the Government of the Maldives. A third cargo of 38 MT of HEB arrived at Male International Airport on 7 January 2005.



According to the Government of Seychelles, 2 people were killed.

Fisheries: 9 boats sunk, 41 boats have been damaged and 1 fishery office has been damaged.

Infrastructure: 5 bridges destroyed or badly damaged, 32 kms of roads with tarmac need repair and upgrading, 15 kms of sea walls and 10 kms of drainage damaged, 300 meters of coast rock armoring damaged, 14 houses destroyed and 25 houses are damaged.

UN response

Food and Agriculture Organization

The FAO is monitoring the situation through a national correspondent reporting to the FAO office in Madagascar. The FAO is planning to work on the rehabilitation and restoration of sustainable livelihoods in the agriculture and fishery sectors as well as on the repair and replacement of fishing vessels and landing facilities.



Reportedly, the latest figures are as follows:

People killed: 30,721

People missing: 4,951

People displaced: 545,492

Fishery: The Fishery Industry which constitutes the most significant livelihood to coastal communities suffered extensive damage due to the Tsunami. Preliminary figures indicate that 22,940 vessels of various categories were lost or damaged. This constitutes 81 percent of the total number of fishing vessels in the country. The fishermen population suffered 7,573 deaths; 5, 686 missing and 90,657 displaced.10 out of 12 major fishery harbours were damaged to various degrees including support facilities, such as ice plants, cold rooms, fish receiving and marketing centres and offices.

Needs and Requirements

The immediate needs are to repair or replace boats, engines and fishing gears to enable the fishermen to resume fishing in the shortest time possible. Essential facilities for cold storage, ice producing facilities, fish receiving and marketing centres, harbours and anchorages are also necessary immediately.

Coordination mechanisms

Coordination meetings between the Government, donors, the UN and NGOs continue, convened by the Government/ Centre for National Operations (CNO) and are held daily at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Independent Square, Colombo.

Strategic Coordination meetings led by the Humanitarian Coordinator with participation of Heads of Agencies, Red Cross movement, key donors and NGOs are held twice a week. Next meeting Tuesday 11 January 2005.

Detailed information on the relief effort is available on website of the Centre for National Operations (CNO)

UN response

Food and Agriculture

FAO is working closely with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to concentrate on improving capacity of boatyards to undertake minor repairs to boats to make them seaworthy in the shortest possible time. FAO is bringing in a technical team of master boat-builders, naval architects, engineers and master-fishermen to spearhead the recovery process.

United Children’s Fund

On 8 January 2005, UNICEF dispatched 100 school kits to the following districts: Ampara (50); Galle (30); Mullaitivu (20). In addition, latrine construction in schools and temporary camps remains a priority. 105 latrines have been constructed in Ampara and 150 in Galle. UNICEF is procuring 25,000 insecticide treated nets (ITNs) as well as 10,000 rapid diagnostic tests for malaria.

World Food Programme

The next phase of food dispatch to support 750,000 people in need for another 15 days has commenced on 10 January 2005. The tonnage and number of beneficiaries will continue to be reviewed accordingly after assessments by WFP (and other stakeholders) are completed.

World Health Organization

WHO is providing technical support and coordinating with the Ministry of Health, other UN organizations and NGOs on key disease prevention activities. This includes health education (deploying 28 mobile teams), vector control (providing spraying equipment, fog machines, insecticide treated nets), and personal hygiene (distributing 10,000 hygiene kits, 3,000 new mother and newborn hygiene kits and 500 safe delivery kits for midwives on mobile teams).


The Combined Support Force (CSF-536) has its headquarters in U-Tapao, Thailand with three Combined Support Groups (CSGs) located in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Request for Assistance (RFA) forms for movement of cargo, people and other required assistance and the Guidance Paper are posted on Reliefweb, on the Virtual OSOCC under the Civil Military discussion group. A Regional Civil Military Coordination Cell has been established with the Combined Support Force. OCHA deployed Civil Military Coordination Officers to Bangkok, U-Tapao, Colombo, Banda Aceh and Medan.

The airport of Subang in Malaysia is available for accepting strategic airlifts. Ground handling and storage will be available. Parking space is sufficient for four wide-bodied aircrafts. Aircraft movements should be staggered by 2 hours. Slot times will be coordinated by UNJLC. Further dispatching will be done by C130 and coordinated between the Malaysian authorities, UNJLC and HAS.

The United Nations Joint Logistics Center (UNJLC) is providing an overview of operations for this disaster, particularly for Indonesia, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The latest report is available at its website:


OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for unearmarked cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. For banking details, please contact the desk officers indicated below. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.

Updates on contributions to this disaster may be found on the Financial Tracking Service (; or, click “Financial Tracking” at the top of the ReliefWeb page for this disaster). Donors are requested to verify this table and inform OCHA Geneva of corrections/additions/values. Donors are encouraged to notify OCHA Geneva of their contributions to this disaster using the OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format, available electronically on the above-mentioned FTS website.

Together with further information on other ongoing emergencies, this situation report is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Aid agencies are encouraged to use the Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) at to share information on assistance and coordinate activities.

Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23/06 28

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Mr. Rudi Mller/Ms. Caroline Pguet
Direct Tel. 41-22-917 3131 / 1836

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, direct Tel. ++41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917 367 51 26
(N.Y.) Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43

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