31th of December:
More transports came in this morning at 4am. They brought medication and food for distribution and a little fuel and basics for us. Spent the day at home trying to come down from what has happened in the past few days. How long has it been now?
Glad that emails from a lot of people who want to help are rolling in. The situation is still critical.
We are now getting reports that refugee women are being raped. The temples attract robbers from the local villages as they have got now more food for their refugees than the locals.
The support from amateurs and the Rotary Club and other clubs and societies in Colombo is still impressive. News of fifty 12 x12 feet tents donated by friends in Colombo make us extremely happy. All amateur helpers in the south were invited to the New Oriental Hotel for an organization and coordination meeting this morning. Strategies for immediate help and future projects including a coordination office were discussed.
We have been trying to open a Euro account exclusively for donations for two days now, however as the main branch has been washed away our efforts have been unsuccessful. This is very disappointing but unfortunately the reality. Hopefully some good news on this will come through in the new year.
Gathering with reporters and help organizations at the Lighthouse Hotel this afternoon we experienced a mixed crowd. There was the Sky News reporter who tried to get our story on the prime time sensational news, and more conservative media such as AP (Associated Press). It looks like AP will conduct an interview with our group in the next days.
Next to media presence we found German Technical Help Organization (THW) who specialise in water supply reconstruction. They also gave us an insight to the bureaucracies international organisations have to go through till they can act on the ground. This is one of the reasons why we have not yet seen many down here. Good news is that they reported that the spread of disease is unlikely as people are aware about the risk of dirty water and wells. The Sri Lankan Red Cross is now present down here - unfortunately not well equipped like their European counterparts. Great medical help is being provided by a privately organized medical camp run by Italian doctors in Unawatuna.
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