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Colombo 4Wheel Club: The 1st to reach Arugambay

Hi Angelo,

………Our next effort is directed towards collecting medicines/dry rations to be
taken to Pottuvil – a private group is organising a little convoy to go to
the Lahugala nature reserve where evacuees from the arugam bay/Pottuvil
area are being sheltered. At least 10 of us from office will be joining. I
‘ not sure if you’ve been to Arugam Bay? We have holidayed there ever so
often & apparantly none of the guest houses/the fishing
village/roads/bridges are standing – its like a wasteland of mud & debris.
The four wheel club was there yesterday & one of the guys called in with
this infor – they ‘ve been helping with the evacuvation of people marooned
in the jungles of Panama – extreme tip –  south-east of the island.

Shirani Saunders

Full text here: Continue reading ‘Colombo 4Wheel Club: The 1st to reach Arugambay’

Thorntree

Extract from the Lonely Planet Thorntree Blog:

channamasala
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
5:35pm
180.
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Rameswaram seems to be fairly safe, having been sheltered by Sri Lanka

————————-
Enlightenment? Aww, I wanted a plastic monkey!
Photos From Taiwan
Travel Photos

Rod_B
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
6:08pm
181.
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One thing is for sure smitty… Anywhere along the south coast is badly hit… I've been talking to people , trying to trace a family at Kudawella, near Dickwella and all I've found out so far is that the damage there is horrific .
If you have a family name and address, the tele. numbers I gave a couple of posts ago may provide some help .
As yet there are no phones in the area so little info is coming out. Except that there are a huge number of dead and that there's no sign of any assistance reaching down that far yet.
The Adams Bridge area , again is very sketchy info but the way the waves approached and struck the island Adams Bridge area should be one of the less damaged places as it's just about exactly opposite side of Lanka to the waves approach
Sorry to only have bad news but thats about all there is.
Rod

————————-
Sri Lanka trip pics,,( 6 albums )
http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/Slideshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&Uc=4slx3oyl.2wlckff1&Uy=-ni71sv&Ux=1&localeid=en_GB

ace100uk
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
6:30pm
182.
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I have had four separate reports from people involved that Havelock and Neil Islands on the Andamans have not been nearly as badly affected as previously thought. There is a large group of 250 people from resorts on Havelock that are sheltering together, although evacuation is still not possible. Some food and water is being airlifted there for the time being. These reports have come from people who have managed to get off the islands and back to Madras, but I don't really have much more than that.

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I don't know where I'm going, but I know this is the right direction…

smitty
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
9:11pm
183.
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Australia to provide an extra $25million………..
JACKYL01
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
9:22pm
184.
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Does anyone know what exactly the damage in Kerala is. Kovalam beach?
Appreciated

Jac

————————-
Now that we're here so far away…

Oh Mexico http://www.travelpod.com/members/jackyl

JACKYL01
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
9:39pm
185.
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Also if anyone knows what happened to a hotel name Hotel Coral Sands in what I recall was Hikkaduwa. The hotel is owned by a man and his daughters, very sweet people. It isright on the beach. He shared a little bit of philosophy with me, gave me the only copy of the chant at the beggining of the morning CD. I pray they are alright.

————————-
Now that we're here so far away…

Oh Mexico http://www.travelpod.com/members/jackyl

mschris
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
10:11pm
186.
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Brock Connelly and Aarthi Venkatesan are on holidays in Sri Lanka- dont know exactly what part, they were going on safari and staying in a tree house.
Does anyone know the name of this area or if it has been affected?
I am posting on behalf of two very worried parents.
Info appreciated.
ceylont
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
10:34pm
187.
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mschris – I'm afraid it's difficult to help if you don't know the area exactly. udarasri@sltnet.lk on Academic Net seems to be offering to help locate people. Try that as well as post on LP missing persons branch.
ceylont
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
10:54pm
188.
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Also, try the phone no.s Rod and others have provided above.
ballroomlizard
Posted: 28 Dec 2004
11:56pm
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ALILANG – I am very sorry, but I only know that these people I wrote before are alive. I am waiting for more information about the others! I stayed in Siam View – Arugam Bay for holiday in May and came back in september to stay for six months, but I went home in november. all these people there a very lovely people! I hope that the other people there are also alright!
map
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
12:02am
190.
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I was just able to reach Dani Martonovics at Secret Garden in Unawatuna. He and all his staff and guests survived. The owner, Simona Simonett had traveled to Switzerland for Christmas. Three Fishes was mostly demolished. Secret Garden sustained very severe damage, but main structure walls are still standing.

Ajith and Shiromi at Upul survived. Upul is severely damaged.

Preshan from Thapbrobane and his staff survived and the hotel as well as The Villa next door are standing. The girl who owns Pink Elephant and her staff of boys and her family all survived although Pink Elephant was swept away.

It seems that Sun n Sea was not destroyed. Mrs Perera survived. I have no news of her staff.

The devastation is massive and danger of epidemic is growing. As of today, Wednesday morning, no substantial aid has reached the South.

I have no further specific news. Apparently the people at Villa in Paradise are the best for getting specific news of individuals: http://www.villa-in-paradise.com/

My connection with Dani was poor, and he was very busy with the local association, so I don't know how much direct contact I'll have with him immediately since his priority is to be part of the relief work.

FINANCIAL AID

Simona is in the process of setting up a bank account in Switzeland for people who wish to contribute funds that will be specifically and totally spent on Unawatuna locals. The fund will be administrated by the Unawatuna Development Association which was formed in August and had already made a lot of progress with cleanup and improvement in Unawatuna. I will have details of the account number and plans in the coming days. Anyone who is interested, feel free to contact me. mprinci@tiscali.fr I am confident that all necessary guarantees of fiduciary responsibility will be taken care of.

Simona and people in Unawatuna feel that such a fund will be the most effective means of helping Unawatuna. We all know how aid money can go astray or not reach the intended beneficiaries. The Association is a bona fide entity that can be trusted.

I shall continue to send news as I receive it.

Pray for Lanka!
map

conundrum
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
12:54am
191.
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Eventually managed to get in touch with our S.L. friend's wife who lives in a small inland village near Negombo and learned she and the family were safe. Apparently they had been evacuated. I asked about Silver Sands which is where we stay and I think its OK – possibly some flooding and breakdown of communications (hence the impossibility of a phone/email connection), but hopefully at least the upper storey hopefully has survived. Some fishermen we knew along the seafront between the hotels have lost their homes, but 'running to mountains' according to Ruptika. So thankfully many have escaped despite losing their homes…and boats no doubt. If I hear further today will post.

We are booked to fly out in a few weeks time, but all is in the air right now. However some experts have suggested that if the country manages to crawl back to some semblance of 'normality' within four weeks (which I doubt very much indeed), perhaps to go and put some money back into the exchequer might be the right thing to do. Its too early days yet. Too much confusion. Too difficult a call. But we want to do the right thing and not be a burden. Any advice from you most appreciated as matters unfold. Thanks, Jeanne(CONUNDRUM0

Mancunian
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
2:53am
192.
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Does anybody have any information about Channa and the rest of the staff at Milton's Beach Resort Hotel in Unawatuna?
Bloem
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
3:46am
193.
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Just wanted to share the joy of getting through to my friends in Bangalore. They usually go to Goa this time of year, but they were contemplating going to Kerala, Pondy or Tamil Nadu this Christmas for a change. Fortunately, they got caught up in work, and stayed in Bangalore.

Phew.

————————-
'If there is a heaven, it must be an eternal hug'

longjons
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
4:12am
194.
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Thankyou Map for your posts. I felt a weight lift from my heart when I read that Preshan and the guys at Thaprobane survived – of course, it doesn't lessen the death toll, but it's such a relief to find out that people I know and care about are alive after days of worrying about them.

Keep us posted about the relief fund for Unawatuna. At the moment I'm encouraging everyone I know to donate to central disaster funds, but once the worst is over and the rebuilding can begin I will certainly do what I can to raise funds to help Unawatuna. They deserve all the help they can get – places that are cared for with such pride and dedication by their people are few and far between and it would be a tragedy to see all their hard work wasted.

I'm also glad to see western countries have upped their aid contributions – $28million from the UK now, with more promised later. I just hope they keep it coming to rebuild infrastructure after the most acute crises have passed.

It's heartwarming to read the posts on this site – just goes to reinforce my opinion that if more people travelled the world really would be a better place where people wouldn't say charity begins at home, just because the people there are like them, but where it's needed.

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This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung, the dam guard not wait train five minutes for him.

ballroomlizard
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
6:41am
195.
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I just talked to Fred, the owner of the siam view hotel in arugam bay. He told me that almost everything is washed away included the stardust beach hotel and their staff and tourists. only a very small part of the svh is still standing. at that time, where the tsunami was coming about 1500 people have been staying in arugam bay and nearly 1000 are dead. All the people which survived are staying in this small part of the svh. no health organisations came to arugam bay to help the people, just one helicopter came to take out all of the injured tourists. If you want more informations, look at the following website: http://www.arugam.com/help.htm
misslrimmer
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
7:28am
196.
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Thank you to everyone who has posted with information about Sri Lanka. Really appreciate the connection with others who have the same concerns.
We were wondering if anyone had any news about Tangalle? We are particularly concerned about the staff at the Goyambokka Guest House where Asoka was the manager.
Lobsang
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
7:40am
197.
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don't you feel sick about thinking that a few days ago we were here answering to posts about good beaches and places, and now the people we were giving instuctions to, might be gone, or are badly traumatised?
I remember replying to someone who was asking about places to spend christmas at, train schedules from colombo to galle, and others who definitely were there when all happened. I almost feel guilty, i know they would have been there anyhow, but it still feels creepy to think about it. Talking about it so lightly, and now it's all gone…
Rod_B
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
7:58am
198.
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Lobsang,
The same thought has been going through my head over and over.
So many thoughts , questions and no answers.

This morning, here in the UK, we got our first post after the Christams period.
One letter……………..From Sri Lanka.

It was from Three beautiful girls who lived in a little beach side bungalow near Dickwella.
They had saved the few rupees they could , to take a photograph to a shop in Matara and have it made into a Christmas and new year card for me and my wife.

Another for a birthday card for my daughter.

That was all their money they had for Christmas.

They didn't think what they could do for themselves. They thought to make my Christmas a little happier for me.

Now I think they are all dead.

All day, my wife has sat in tears. I'm just numb. Empty, feeling sick …

There are no answers.
Rod.

————————-
Sri Lanka trip pics,,( 6 albums )
http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/Slideshow.jsp?mode=fromshare&Uc=4slx3oyl.2wlckff1&Uy=-ni71sv&Ux=1&localeid=en_GB

wherebodyhow
Posted: 29 Dec 2004
8:21am
199.
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Arugam Bay

I'm looking for information about Arugam Bay, especially about Sooriya's Guest House and a Sri Lankan guy called AMIN who used to work there. Does anybody have any information? I've seen some links here but the information is pretty sparse..

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I´m not a traveller,
I´m a tourist!

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Lonely Planet Thorntree

I just talked to Fred, the owner of the siam view hotel in arugam bay. He told me that almost everything is washed away included the stardust beach hotel and their staff and tourists. only a very small part of the svh is still standing. at that time, where the tsunami was coming about 1500 people have been staying in arugam bay and nearly 1000 are dead. All the people which survived are staying in this small part of the svh. no health organisations came to arugam bay to help the people, just one helicopter came to take out all of the injured tourists. If you want more informations, look at the following website: http://www.arugam.com/help.htm

posted by:

ballroomlizard
Posted: 29-Dec-2004 06:41

Posts: 7
Registered: 25/04/03

Arugam Bay

I'm looking for information about Arugam Bay, especially about Sooriya's Guest House and a Sri Lankan guy called AMIN who used to work there. Does anybody have any information? I've seen some links here but the information is pretty sparse..

———————
I´m not a traveller,
I´m a tourist!
posted by:

wherebodyhow
Posted: 29-Dec-2004 08:21
Posts: 20
Registered: 20/06/03
ARUGAM BAY

From the UN's Reliefweb (www.reliefweb.int)

Airforce finds 3,000 people marooned after tsunami havoc
by Jay Deshmukh

AMPARA, Sri Lanka, Dec 29 (AFP) – Some 3,000 Sri Lankan villagers believed to have perished in the island's tidal wave disaster were found alive Wednesday, giving an early lift to airborne military relief operations.

The airforce base in this eastern district of Ampara, one of the hardest hit by Sunday's natural disaster, was resuming rescue operations to help the villagers marooned on a narrow strip of high ground, but without food or water.

“We have already carried out four sorties to drop food and water to them,” Squadron leader Chaminda Wickramaratna told the first group of journalists to reach Ampara after the tragedy.

“We are now taking doctors because most of the people are suffering from dehydration.”

Local officials estimate about 8,000 people had perished in Sunday's disaster, but most parts of this remote coastal region, 350 kilometres (218 miles) east of the capital by road, is inaccessible even at best of times because of the hostile terrain.

Military personnel here are on a war-footing to carry supplies for thousands of villagers driven out of their homes.

More helicopters are expected to reinforce the effort here once an Indian naval ship carrying its own air transport docks in at the north-eastern port district of Trincomalee, further north of here.

The air base here has already helped with the evacuation of some 200 people, mostly foreign nationals, from the picturesque wind-surfing resort of Arugam Bay, just south-east of this base.

“Since Sunday, we have evacuated around 200 people holidaying at Arugam Bay,” wing commander Aravinda Mirando said. “We are conducting rescue and search operations as and when we get calls or information of people trapped.”

“But since Tuesday, the nature of operations changed to relief sorties to carry supplies to affected people.”

But the welcome news was about the 3,000 people still alive after the tsunami devastated the entire coastline here, as it did to most of the island's beaches.

The air operation is also fraught with dangers for the crew as they cannot land at will because of the dangers of land mines and unexploded ordnance washed out after the massive flooding.

This region has been a hotbed of conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger guerrillas. The two sides have observing a truce since February 2002, but they have maintained their mine fields.

The military base here located at the edge of a wild life sanctuary for elephants escaped the carnage because it is located several miles inland, but the camps along the coast were badly damaged.

At least 61 security personnel have died and another 250 were injured in the carnage that also claimed the lives of 18,700 people according to official estimates.

At the neighbouring district of Batticaloa, soldiers cleared the wreckage of their camps and salvaged what ever arms and ammunition left after waves rising 25 feet swept over them.

jds/aj/rcw

Copyright (c) 2004 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 12/29/2004 04:30:44

posted by:
mvgarceau
Posted: 29-Dec-2004 08:56
Posts: 2
Registered: 06/09/00
source of these extracts:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/message.jspa?messageID=5759537

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Farewell Phil :'(

Monday, December 27, 2004

Farewell Phil :'(

Farewell Phill

Today I got to learn that Philip Nicholas too was an unfortunate casualty of the tsunami title wave that hit Sri Lanka yesterday. At the time of his death, he was holidaying in Arugambay (located in Pottuville) spending Christmas at the Star Dust Beach Hotel. The wave that struck the area had completely destroyed the hotel.

Phil was the founder and lead developer for Hibyte Co., a UK based web development company. He came to Sri Lanka in 1999, to work on the Star Dust hotel's web site, and directly gone there at a time when going to Pottuville was unthinkable do to terrorist activities. Ever since then he had fallen in love with Sri Lanka and had worked and lived here since then.

I met Phil towards the end of 2002, when my former company ITABS formed a partnership with Hibyte LK. I worked with him a little over an year on a few projects. He was a perl and DHTML genius. I would say most of my current perl writing styles and even some PHP generic functions were greatly influenced by him. One thing I really admired in him was his appreciation for Sri Lanka and its people. He would often talk of how lucky we are in certain things compared to western countries and showed us things that we took for granted. He had many stories to tell.

You were a great inspiration and we shall miss you dearly. To all the thousands of people who their lives, let us pray that they find true happiness in what ever form it may be.

Lets all unite and help those in need so that they may have a better tomorrow and live to tell of this tragic incident.

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