The toll now stands at 125,282. More than 80,000 Indonesians are reported killed. Sri Lanka has lost 27,268.
About 6,000 foreign tourists are missing, including 2,000 Scandinavians, 1,000 Germans, 1,000 Australians and 600 Italians. More than 2,000 tourists have died. The official British toll is 26, but fears are held for more than 100. Sweden’s government has been criticised for the slowness of its response; 54 Swedes were killed, and foreign minister Laila Freivalds admits “we didn’t fully understand the scale of how many people would be injured and dead.”
Visy Industries and the Pratt family: $1 million to CARE Australia.
BHP Billiton: $641,000 (the company will also match staff donations)
Lonely Planet publications: $500,000
ANZ Bank: $260,000
Commonwealth Bank: $250,000
Australia Post: $250,000
Rio Tinto Australia: $154,000
Westpac: $100,000 (plus matching staff donations)
National Australia Bank: $100,000
If there’s anyone in the disaster area from Colorado, and if they can find a blogger where they are (there seem to be a handful in every city in Asia), they can email me, and I’ll call and let people know they’re ok. I think there are hundreds of other bloggers that would assist. We need someone to coordinate names and contact points for survivors.
We have a huge number of Christian relief groups in Colorado Springs. If any reputable blogger will email me with specific needs, I’ll try to contact local charities to fill them. We also have a Reserve airlift unit here, so we may even be able to speed things up a bit. I’ve commented about this kind of help on my website.
Goths care. The pale and solemn guys at Enmore Station are organising a goth/industrial/darkwave tsunami fundraiser at Sydney’s Club 77 next Wednesday. All power to Enmore Station and their Dark Master. Robert Corr urges Perth readers to donate non-perishable food, milk powder and medicine at the Ceylon Style Cafe in East Victoria Park, and tsunami video archivist Pundit Guy will contribute 50% of donations to his site to the Red Cross.
UPDATE. Bryan Chaffin reports that Apple Computer has dedicated its home page to disaster relief for tsunami victims. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Red Cross appeal – helped along by an early Instaboost – has now raised more than SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS.
UPDATE II. Stories of Thai heroism emerge: “One Australian survivor spoke of a small Thai man on a water tower who saved several people by snatching them as they swept by him out to sea. With impossible strength, and at great personal risk, he dragged them from the torrent and certain death.”
UPDATE III. More than 500 French citizens are missing and 22 are listed as dead. France has now increased its aid to $57 million. Britain’s contribution has tripled, now set at $95 million, and Sweden is in for $75.5 million. Earlier misreporting of France’s contribution led to unfair comparisons.
UPDATE IV. The Americans are coming:
A US carrier battle group headed for Indonesia’s Aceh province today to spearhead an unprecedented multinational military effort to assist the survivors of last weekend’s quake and tsunami.
A second US Marine strike group from the Pacific territory of Guam was on its way to Sri Lanka with water, food and medical supplies.
The Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and four other ships will take up position off Aceh tonight, US navy officials said.
The Guam group, headed by the USS Bonhomme Richard, – specially designed to carry land men and equipment under difficult conditions – will arrive off Sri Lanka within a week, they added.
UPDATE V. British swamp hog Clare Short wants the Americans to go away:
“I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said.
UPDATE VI. Finland, a nation of only five million, has raised four million dollars. Italians have donated $17 million via a mobile phone texting system. A British charity group hoovered in $39 million within 24 hours. As of noon Thursday, the US Red Cross had collected $18 million.
UPDATE VII. Americans have privately contributed more than $127 million. The ABC’s Leigh Sales – who two days ago complained that “while the US Government is so far giving $44 million to the tsunami victims, the National Retail Federation here predicts Americans will spend more than $200 billion on presents, food and holiday sales this Christmas” – remains unimpressed:
The United States gives more cash than any other nation, but isn’t particularly generous when you look at its contributions as a percentage of its Gross National Product.