Sri Lanka Tsunami – 2005 | Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue (ERTSAR) UK

Sri Lanka Tsunami – 2005

On December 26th 2004 a 9.2 magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 cm and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska.

The resulting Tsunami killed almost 230,000 people and displaced over 500,000 more. The worldwide community donated more than $7 billion in aid. The United Nations estimated at the outset that the relief operation would be the costliest in human history. Over 40,000 people in died Sri Lanka, in the worst ever tragedy is Sri Lanka’s history. Thousands of those missing were never recovered. Many of the small, coastal villages in southern and eastern Sri Lanka were completely wiped out.

ERTSAR were deployed to Sri Lanka in January 2005 in a search and rescue and medical capacity. The first stop on our arrival in Colombo was the Appollo hospital to spend a few days teaching various subjects to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff including field trauma and emergency medical care.

Moving onwards, we were asked to assist doctors at Peraliya Village Hospital, a minor injuries clinic near Galle, with a queue of 2000 waiting people.



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