Disaster preparation helps communities rebuild eight years after the 2004 tsunami

Topics: Worldwide, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
December 13, 2012

Disaster preparation helps communities rebuild eight years after the 2004 tsunami

The tsunami that struck off the coast of Sumatra on December 26, 2004 caused devastation throughout parts of Indonesia, southern India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and other areas.

While eight years have passed, the memory of the event still lingers in the minds of those living in areas that were impacted, spurring them to action in the form of disaster preparedness.

The role of the Canadian Red Cross
As part of the world's largest non-profit organization, the Canadian Red Cross plays a crucial role in helping those in need around the world. In the aftermath of emergencies and disasters, the Canadian Red Cross provides support for programs that offer critical aid to affected communities and individuals.

While the 2004 tsunami resulted in widespread loss, with assistance from the Canadian Red Cross, countries impacted by the disaster have been able to make steps toward recovery, although more help is needed.

Steps toward recovery
For many in Indonesia, the 2004 tsunami was the largest natural disaster in memory. With help from the Canadian Red Cross, communities across Indonesia have increased their disaster preparedness techniques in an effort to reduce the impact of future incidents.

In the province of Aceh, the Canadian Red Cross helped people rebuild their lives by strengthening infrastructure and building homes. Across the rest of the island of Sumatra, Canadian Red Cross contributions have gone toward improving livelihoods, water and sanitation and developing disaster risk reduction programs.

As a result of these measures, Indonesians knew how to stay safe when Sumatra was hit by an 8.6 magnitude earthquake in April 2012.

Recovery in India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives
In addition to its work in Indonesia, the Canadian Red Cross has supported many disaster preparedness measures throughout countries like India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives that have empowered local communities.

In India, the Canadian Red Cross has provided resources for a health and hygiene awareness outreach program as well as disaster preparedness programs that have benefited more than 12,000 households and includes first aid training as well as maternal and child healthcare services.

In Sri Lanka, the Canadian Red Cross has played a crucial role in responding to the physical and mental health needs of individuals affected by the disaster and has also constructed a total of 320 houses. The Canadian Red Cross continues to support an Island-wide first aid program in Sri Lanka.

The Maldives sustained serious damage as a result of the tsunami and 29,000 people were forced from their homes. The Canadian Red Cross cleared more than 76,000 cubic meters of debris from 68 islands that were struck by the tsunami and conducted infrastructure repairs to buildings on 30 islands.

How you can help
Since 2004, the Canadian Red Cross and its partners have built more than 6,500 homes and helped 5 million individuals in need. This assistance wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of Canadians and the Government of Canada.

By choosing to donate online or at a local Canadian Red Cross office, you'll be able to make a difference and help communities gain access to vital resources when they need them most. 

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