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:

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..

IA?A?m not a traveller,
IA?A?m a tourist!
posted by:

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

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.


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

posted by:
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Posted: 29-Dec-2004 08:56
Posts: 2
Registered: 06/09/00
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