INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Tfx001: Canada Responds Quickly to Tsunamis

Published: Wed 29 Dec 2004 09:09 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS OTTAWA 003474
SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP AND WHA/CAN
STATE FOR TSUNAMI TASKFORCE 1
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID AEMR CASC CA FAC
SUBJECT: TFX001: CANADA RESPONDS QUICKLY TO TSUNAMIS
1. Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC) tells us that as of December
29, three Canadians are confirmed dead, and approximately 60
are still missing. Of the three dead, two died in Thailand
and one in Sri Lanka. Forty-eight of the missing Canadians
were in Thailand, with the majority of the rest missing from
Sri Lanka. Although volume is down today, FAC's emergency
hotline is still busy, and of the original roughly 2000
welfare/whereabouts inquiries received so far, 600 have been
resolved. FAC has called in 25 officers to respond to
callers.
Initial response
----------------
2. On December 26, Prime Minister Paul Martin issued a
statement of condolence and pledged Canada's support. The
GOC promised an initial C$1 million (about US$800,000) in
humanitarian assistance and followed up the next day with a
further pledge of C$3 million (US$2.4 million).
3. The GOC has sent a CC-150 Polaris plane to Colombo
(expected to land tomorrow) with essential emergency
materials such as blankets, water tablets, and generators but
does not yet have plans to mobilize the Canadian Forces
Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), stating that no
government has yet made a formal request for the mobile field
hospital team. The Canadian International Development Agency
(CIDA) will assess the situation to determine what additional
assistance will be required.
Tragedy strikes close to home for many in Canada
--------------------------------------------- ---
4. Canada's Diaspora from the affected region numbers in the
hundreds of thousands. FAC is directing private citizens who
wish to donate money to contact the International Red Cross,
OXFAM, and CARE Canada. Private donations from Canadian
residents and citizens have reached over C$3 million (US$2.4
million) and are growing quickly. NGOs are still being
flooded with contributions. Families with relatives in
affected areas have been directed to contact the Department
of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa at 1-800-387-3124, the hotline
mentioned above.
Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa
POWELL
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