Updated Information in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India

The following are summary of MSF activities in the crisis regions(update: Hong Kong Time 12:00pm 30/12/04):

Sri Lanka
The latest estimates are that 21,000 are dead and 745,000 displaced. Colombo airport is so busy that it is almost completely blocked.

A full charter with 40 tons leaves yesterday at midnight from France to Colombo. It includes watsan medical and surgical material. There are 3 kits to set up hospitals to care for 30,000 people for three months. Should arrive in Colombo tomorrow morning.

Another full charter with 40 tons of equipment, (water sanitation and medical supplies with food and plastic sheeting) will leave from France today and will arrive Colombo tomorrow.

The MSF team of 8 people arrived in Banda Aceh on Tuesday night with 3.5 tonnes of medical supplies. The team includes three nurses, two doctors, a logistician, a translator and the Head of Mission.

They report that about 60% of the town of Banda Aceh is totally destroyed. The city is divided in two by a road, and people from the lower, coastal side of town have fled to the higher ground on the other side of the road. They are trying to make makeshift shelters, making tents with plastic sheeting on the streets.

There are still many corpses on the streets. People are extremely stressed. There is a scarcity of food and fresh water in some areas. There is still electricity supply in some parts of town but there is no fuel available in the city.

The infrastructure is largely destructed. The MSF team slept in the hospital last night.

The assessment has now ended. Two decisions were taken as a result: An epidemiologist will be sent from Epicentre to work on epidemics surveillance to start work on Tuesday in the districts of Nagapattinam and Cuddalore.

At the medical level there is not a direct need to intervene at the moment, but we will set up a team to offer counselling and assist the population affected by trauma. A psychologist should be arriving in the area by next Tuesday.

Two MSF expats(a nurse and a water sanitation expert)arrived in Chennai this morning. They got the authorisation from the Indian government to start assessing the two very isolated islands of Andaman and Nicobar, far off the Indian coast, north of Aceh, not far from the epicentre of the earthquake.



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