Caritas Appeals For Victims Of Tsunami
Catholic Aid Agency, Caritas is today appealing for donations to assist victims of the devastating Tsunami which swept
through Sri Lanka, Southern India, Sumatra and the coasts of other Southeast Asian countries on Boxing Day.
The Director of Caritas Sri Lanka described the situation as a national calamity and has mobilised the local network to
gather information on the extent of the damage and initiate an emergency response. Reports from both Caritas in Sri
Lanka and India echo accounts in the media from those countries, and both agencies are now gathering information from
affected communities and the church network.
Speaking from Christchurch, Caritas NZ emergency manager, Tim Chiswell, said the next 4-5 days would be one of the most
critical periods. Affected communities will be in shock, but will still have to deal with the disaster on all fronts.
Loss of life will be very severe in some localities, and this poses a critical public health and access challenges. Many
have clearly lost their homes and possessions, livelihoods, and stores of food, and may also have to deal with
contaminated water sources.
Caritas experienced the shock and devastation of a tsunami when it assisted the diocese of Aitape to respond to the huge
waves which hit PNG's northern coast in 1998. Mr Chiswell was in Aitape in the wake of the disaster to assist the
Caritas response. It was a response which continued for over 2 years as people re-established their lives.
Donations to the Caritas Appeal can be made by post to PO Box 12-193, Wellington, or for $20 donations, 0900 4 11 11.