View Full Version : Indian Ocean Tsunami/Earthquake

26th Dec 2004, 14:28
Whilst a thread is already running in JB on this, I feel this is a more appropriate place to post any news anyone has. A lot of us have friends and relations in that area. There has been an awful loss of life in the region.

It would be nice if we could keep THIS thread strictly on 'news' rather than the esoterics of world climate - please?

Update - epicentre 90 miles off NW Sumatra, and estimated death toll 9000+. Many countries are affected. Many airports in the region are closed.

UK Foreign Office helpline is 0207 008 0000

26th Dec 2004, 15:17
For information,
I have been in contact with Monarch Engineers currently in Indonesia on the Hadj and all are well.


26th Dec 2004, 16:13
I was over the Bay of Bengal listening to the BBC world service reporting it at 0500GMT. Very very sad. Thoughts go to those who have lost family and friends. We seemed so isolated from it all at FL330, yet it was all happening just 5 miles underneath us.

26th Dec 2004, 16:26
We were the last A/C to take off from Phuket while evacuation of the airport was already in progress.
My thoughts are with those who lost family and friends.


26th Dec 2004, 16:53
Re the Maldives, I can't speak first-hand but reports say that Male is still 3/4 under water, the airport is pretty much unusable and an emergency has been declared. News agencies are reporting that no tourists/foreigners have been killed but many may have minor injuries.

was an eng
26th Dec 2004, 16:59
I flew 4 sectors in and out of KUL today and knew nothing about it until I watched the BBC world news tonight.

Absolutely awful.


26th Dec 2004, 17:43
The US Geological survey has info and links to info on the earthquake.


Relief Web has information on where help is being sent.



It was at 7 AM local time, so fewer people were on the beach in resort areas than might have been otherwise.

Very sad.

27th Dec 2004, 06:39
I had a 3 week holiday in Maldives booked departing on 09DEC. I Never thought I'd say it, but I'm glad I cancelled it.

Terrible news still emerging from the regions.

27th Dec 2004, 10:33
Does anyone have any news as to whether Male (VRMM) is now open? I had heard that it was still closed this morning.

27th Dec 2004, 10:56
Paste VRMM into the US Defense Internet NOTAM Service (https://www.notams.jcs.mil/) and you will see:




27th Dec 2004, 11:55
Thanks Dawn2dusk, I had picked that up from the Notams, I understand that the problem was water on the runways and taxiways and that the airport was closed.

27th Dec 2004, 23:06
Here are some pics of Male airport in the Maldives, and a quote from one of the guys over on Avcanada:the TMA and Borek bases are basically ruined from the ground upto 6 foot level. The fuel systems are ruined and some of the planes that were are the bases got banged up. The city isnt too bad..just lots of water damage. Most of the planes were at resorts at the time 9am...but the lack of communication so far means they dont know or can account for everybody yet.

Pics - linked from avcanada.
http://www.avcanada.ca/albums//displayimage.php?album=48&pos=0 http://www.avcanada.ca/albums//displayimage.php?album=48&pos=1 http://www.avcanada.ca/albums//displayimage.php?album=48&pos=2

28th Dec 2004, 10:18
We operated to Male on Christmas day and were staying on a tiny island 40 mins by boat from Male, in the south Atoll.

The island was one of 3 connected by wooden jettys. We arrived at about 0100 local and had a moonlight stroll on a pristine idyllic beach. We were staying on the west side of the island, less than 20 feet from the sea edge.(consider it takes 20 seconds to reach the other side).

0610 I woke up with my bed shaking - confused as to what was happening but then realised it must have been a tremor. Went back to sleep.

Woke up 0900 local, pottered around, opened the door and saw a wall of water coming towards me. Tried to close the door behind me but it got wrenched out of my hand. At this stage the water was up to our thighs.

To cut a long story short, this happened about 3 times and a significant amount of time was spent up a tree - both myself and the pilots. We went over to the east side of the island and the destruction was horrendous. Everybody had been having breakfast on the veranda overhanging the sea when the wave smashed into them. Obviously, we were much more sheltered on the west side and as a result very, very lucky. The violence of the wave had totally destroyed the jettys connecting the islands.

We had to stay on the island - no power, running water, sanitation. No boat could get in or out to the island because of the reef and surrounding debris. We were finally evacuated at 0700 yesterday morning.

We still are not sure of injuries/deaths on our island, it did appear, however, that everybody was ok thank god but they were still doing head counts when we left. This is something I will never forget - even though what I saw was calm compared to what the poor people in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh etc experienced. The enormity of what has happened is staggering and something that will affect me for a long time yet.

The 2 boys with me were fab. The resort workers were amazing - they still managed to feed us and look after us even after all the destruction.

Our aircraft was fine - the water had gone about halfway up the landing gear but no damage done.

My thoughts are with ALL those people who have been affected by this, crew or otherwise, however they have been affected.

A sad, sad time.


28th Dec 2004, 12:41
A great tragedy and which saddened the day, commiserations to the thousands affected.

With regard to aircraft charter/relief/scheduled operating to and from the area, is there any references or info regarding possible movement, slight or large of co-ordinates for fields, fixes, or possibly affected aids due displacement by tectonic shift or shift caused by the earthquake?

28th Dec 2004, 22:12
Firstly, hello to all, this is my first post here so if I am posting in the wrong forum or in breach of etiquette, i apologise in advance.
With regard to the tour ops covering the maldives, my wife and I have booked our honeymoon with Th...son to Raa Atoll, ex gatwick on 3 jan. I have been astonished by the operators policy with regard to the status of the booking in that as of 4pm today, they still intend to provide the holiday as booked. How can they even consider flying in more tourists at a time when they are evacuating others? Surely in the aftermath of this tragedy, the last thing that is needed in the maldives is a plane load of holidaymakers arriving at male, expecting the "business as normal" luxury that Th..sons are still insisting will be available!
It may be the case that the particular resort we have booked is relatively unaffected but from the reports I have seen, the maldives as a whole has suffered significant damage and loss of life. Frankly I feel that we would be intruding in the most thoughtless way on the private grief of those who have and still are suffering.
My suspicion is that his particular operator is more concerned with the cost of refunds should the flight be cancelled than their ethical obligations to the customers and the residents.
I may however be entirely mistaken- in which case sorry.


29th Dec 2004, 07:07
As stated by another pruner on the Tsunami thread in JB: Before this gets anymore political with people patting themselves on the back because their government is donating more money then another country.......

Sign up to places like
http://www.redr.org/ to volunteer your professional skills,
or terre sans frontieres (http://www.terresansfrontieres.ca/english/tsf/index.html)
Then you can take the moral high ground.

Or else make a donation and brag about it right here online,
I just donated 150 euro to http://www.goal.ie/
I won it in a game of no limit Texas hold em last night, can anyone beat that?

29th Dec 2004, 07:14
When I opened this thread (page 1) I asked that we kept 'on track' and avoided climate change discussions. I cannot believe I now have to ask that we avoid the classic Pprune garbage on this thread. This disaster is of such horrendous proportions that such dross is totally inappropriate and I would hope that any such 'contributions' wil rapidly go either into cyberspace or to JB.

Remember, it takes about as long to click and action one of Flap's links as it does to rant here - and does a lot more good.

29th Dec 2004, 12:32
Has your company dispatched all it's aircraft for the Hajj?

If not might it be willing to carry freight on an otherwise empty sector?

29th Dec 2004, 14:21
An excellent link (taken from JB - thank you 'omaha') is this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake) which covers all aspects of the tragedy, including geophysical, human and relief, and shows an animated map taken from NOAA satellite data on which you can see how badly Sri Lanka and India were affected by the waves, which showed a huge peak in their westward movement. There is also a non-exhaustive list of agencies open for contributions.

29th Dec 2004, 17:19

I have just seen a report on Sky News saying that there is an appeal by members of the local population, for tourists to still travel to Sri Lanka or maybe it was the Maldives as it is the main way for the indigenous population to rebuild and start their lives over again.

I agree with you, I don't understand how they will cope with the lack of the basic requirements of life but as you say, certain areas may not be in such an horrendous state as is shown on the TV.

I do know however, how long it took to recover from a direct hit by a typhoon on a fairly remote Philippine Island resulting in the loss of life of in excess of 200 people due to mud slides, so I think a week or so is a bit optimistic with the damage and numbers involved in this tradegy.

People in the Far East are very resilient however and I am full of admiration for those that seem to be able to pick up the pieces and somehow carry on in spite of the most awful of disasters and loss.


29th Dec 2004, 17:47
Click here (http://www.dec.org.uk/) to go to the Disasters Emergency Committee Tsunami Appeal Online or call 0870 60 60 900.


29th Dec 2004, 17:52
Why don’t Ryanair sponsor a Boeing 737-800, and fly it down to Indonesia with a full load of fresh water for the survivors of the great disaster. They saved a lot of money by taking my water away – how about giving it to somebody who really needs it (a least more than me right now).

I’ll fly for free…..

29th Dec 2004, 17:57
Better to sponsor an AN-124 ..... there's a few down at SNN ready to go (some may even be on their way?) :ok:

29th Dec 2004, 17:58
Do all the various aid/relief agencies have their own pilots & aircraft; can one volunteer as a pilot to assist?

29th Dec 2004, 19:14

A kind thought, but the relief organisations charter experienced companies - both the military and civil - for this kind of thing.
The sheer enormity of the whole event means that it will take longer than normal before everyone affected gets some form of help, but with due respect to you, the last thing they need is inexperienced people turning up and getting in the way.


30th Dec 2004, 03:54
Why don’t Ryanair sponsor a Boeing 737-800, and fly it down to Indonesia with a full load of fresh water for the survivors of the great disaster. They saved a lot of money by taking my water away – how about giving it to somebody who really needs it (a least more than me right now).

Here is the problem with our collective "do-goodness". I'm with you, and would surley donate my equivelent pilot skills, but for what we spend on pints in pub, we could buy a few blue plastic tarps from China and collect enough rainwater from 1 Indonesian thunderstorm to supply the populace with 100 times the fresh water of one water "relief" flight from the Isles.

The need is immense. Do it how they need it, not how we "feel" it should be done.

Lucky Pierre
30th Dec 2004, 10:24
Was just wondering if anybody knows of the situation regarding the Mytravel aircrews out in the far east for the hajj? I've been unable to contact a good friend of mine who is out there and have heard a rumour that some are unaccounted for after the recent tsunami. Really hope this isnt true........

30th Dec 2004, 10:47
All the MYT crews are accounted for and their Hajj operation has been unaffected.

30th Dec 2004, 12:54
SAS pilots have started an informal internal drive to give to the relief efforts. Average amount donated appears to be in the 600 euro range. Nigel, Fritz, and everybody else, feel free to join in.

30th Dec 2004, 17:19
I think now is the time to give 'til it hurts. 600 Euros is surely well within the reach of most of us in this industry, probably more.
I have been truly devastated by the enormous loss of life. I have just heard the figure of 1/2 a million injured and more than a million homes destroyed. There are human beings there that have lost everything, family, livelihood, home. This MUST be the time for every one of us in our cosy houses at this time of year when our families are around us to realise how fragile life is and how fortunate we are, and to DIG DEEP.

30th Dec 2004, 17:44
I understand the US Navy is sending 6 ships to the area(s), each able to process 90,000 US Gallons (333,000L) of fresh water per day.

31st Dec 2004, 17:09
India are now flying in Mils by Myanmar to A&N islands, I fear +100.000 dead on the islands and +million all in all.
AN-32s are doing a lot of work as well, together with Jet Airways
and Indian Airlines have ten-fold the number of flights to the damaged runway in Port Blair.

1st Jan 2005, 01:28
I am currently in Indonesia on the Hajj operation. I finish up in Batam on the 15th of Jan and have no commitments until mid February.

I am keen to help out as best I can and would like to volunteer to carry out any kind of humanitarian work. However it seems that aid agencies require previous experience of disaster relief. Does anyone know whether or not I could be used in any way in Sumatra for a 4 week period and how I can go about getting involved? Aid agencies appear to need prior experience of humanitarin work. My only experience is as a SAR pilot- not that relevant.

It seems odd that we are operating EMPTY 767's from the middle east directly over the affected area. If it was down to me I would have 30 tons of supplies on board and drop into Batam on the way past.

1st Jan 2005, 11:30
Does anybody know how the base at Diego Garcia faired? If it's operational or not?

I know it has (or had) excellant facilities and equipment in terms of parking space, good,long runway and plenty of JetA as well as a natural deep water harbour and state of the art satellite communications. It would make a pretty bloody good collection and distribution point and is only a couple of hours flying time away from The Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and The Seychelles- while winning it's lessors' some much needed help and support in the region and providing valuable, critical support for the victims'.

PPRuNe Towers
1st Jan 2005, 12:20
Covered in the Mil forum Pontious.

1st Jan 2005, 12:34
here's the Diego Garcia link ....



3rd Jan 2005, 14:08
Zulu, if you're like Jemy & have rotary experience/currency, your help could be useful. Take a look at this thread to see how -

Otherwise, one could only suggest, visit www.dec.org.uk and pledge what you can, as so many others have done already. No doubt there are other sites, doing similar good work, around the world.

3rd Jan 2005, 15:54
TNT response as communicated to employees (a little long winded):

Dear colleagues,

Here is the fourth update on the tsunami disaster and our efforts to help.

1. TNT support for disaster relief efforts in Asia
In the wake of the devastating tsunamis in the Indian Ocean, TNT has made its resources available to help the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other humanitarian agencies in their emergency relief operations.

TNT has donated EUR 225,000 of the funds raised by employees in the Asia Pacific region in 2004 to WFP's response to the Asian quake. Furthermore, we have made EUR 1.5 million available for in-kind support to WFP's efforts. This second amount falls under the Emergency Response initiative of the Moving the World programme and will be used to cover the costs of transport, warehousing and any TNT personnel deployed in direct support of WFP in the region.

To date we have received approximately EUR 450,000 in service/support requests from WFP and other humanitarian agencies active in the region.

2. Update on TNT actions in the region
TNT is supporting WFP and the national disaster committee to transport High Energy Biscuits from the hub in Calcutta to the crisis centre in Chennai. This is being done in cooperation with Wilson Logistics. High Energy Biscuits form a crucial part of WFP's initial response to humanitarian crises. They provide sustenance to disaster victims until food aid lines can be established.
In Chennai TNT is providing warehousing facilities and is supporting WFP with the transport of the biscuits to the distribution points in the four affected areas: Pondy, Cuddalore, Kanayakumari and Nagapattinam.
TNT is also providing procurement support for tarpaulins and utensil kits which are urgently needed for those who have lost their homes.

In cooperation with WFP, TNT organized a first convoy of trucks from Medan to Banda Aceh on 2 January. The trucks carried rice, biscuits, diesel fuel and water. A second convoy of 17 trucks is scheduled to depart on 3 January carrying 245 tons of rice and 60 tons of water.
TNT has chartered two MI8 helicopters. The first helicopter is due to be operational by 4 January for assessment and material deliveries in western Sumatra with the other following later this month.
The Jakarta operations centre, which is being set-up and run with the help of TNT is 50% operational as of 2 January.
As of 3 January, at the request of WFP, TNT will be assisting in setting up an operational control room close to the airport in Medan.
Starting 4 January,TNT will arrange convoys for UNHCR to move 400 tons of equipment from Medan to Banda Aceh.
TNT has proposed chartering coastal vessels to support distribution in the affected area and ease the supply line from Medan to Banda Aceh and has sourced a vessel.
TNT has offered WFP office and storage space at its Medan location, close to Banda Aceh.
TNT has made warehouse space available at Jakarta Airport.
TNT's Adhi Rachman (previously worked with WFP in Sudan as part of the Specialist Support Program.) from the Jakarta office has relocated to Medan to manage this process. Once Adhi has everything in place we will dispatch personnel from Jakarta to manage the fleet, based in UN camp in Aceh.
TNT is providing WFP with warehousing facilities in Medan, WFP's staging centre in the area.
TNT is assisting with the clearing and handling of a UN ship arriving Medan with a cargo of rice.
TNT ‘s Indonesia Operations manager and the Regional Managing Director will be in Medan and Banda Aceh on 4 January to discus further operational planning.

TNT is providing linehaul transport from Bangkok to Phuket and has seconded warehouse staff to local WFP operations.

Sri Lanka
TNT has made 10 trucks available for inland distribution to affected locations in Trincomalee and Ampara.
TNT is providing support to the Airport Emergency Team at Colombo airport as well as support for the distribution of material elsewhere in the country. The Airport Emergency Team is part of an industry initiative organized through the World Economic Forum and has already offloaded 11 cargo planes full of aid, which organizations such as the Red Cross have picked up for further distribution.

TNT is providing support to transport material from the WFP Emergency Reserve in Pnom Penh.
TNT has made available staff members to work out of the Asia Emergency Reserve Facility if required.

TNT operations are ready to support a regional HUB in Kuala Lumpur for strategic airlifts in tre area.

In conjunction with local relief and charity organizations TNT has set up drop-off points for relief donations. Well over 50% of the UAE population is of an Indian or Sri Lankan origin.
Five TNT staff are on standby for the Airport Emergency in Colombo.
Freight has been made available to move material to the region.

3. Other TNT logistics support
Air Operations
In cooperation with WFP Aviation section we are forming ramp management teams, sourced from persons in the region and Ramp managers from other TNT BU's. The ramp teams will be used to support the loading and unloading of emergency relief flights coming and going within the region.
In follow up to the Airport Emergency Team currently in Sri Lanka, a new industry initiative between TNT and DHL has been launched to support WFP air operations inThailand, Malaysia and, particularly, Indonesia. These activites are under the supervision of WFP Aviation.

4. Fundraising and non-cash donations
Colleagues from around the world have been asking how they can make a contribution to relief efforts in Asia. The Moving the World programme office has set up a special transfer policy for TPG fundraising activities for the tsunami disaster.
For the month of January you can transfer all funds raised for the disaster to the following bank account:
ACCOUNT: 100910009

IBAN-NUMMER: NL28 RABO 0100 9100 09


postbus 17100

Please indicate clearly that the funds you are transferring are for the Tsunami disaster and please state the contributing Business Unit. In February we will report on the total amount of funds raised for the crisis. From 10 January a daily update of the received fund-raise will be available via this update. Do not keep funds on local bank accounts since we would like to transfer cash to WFP asap and these amounts are not taken into account reporting the total funds-raised for the disaster.

Please note that non-crisis related fund-raising events (i.e. School Feeding Support) should continue to transfer funds through the established protocol.

Important: as reported yesterday, we are not able to handle non-cash donations, such as clothing and food items. Please inform your staff that the transport and distribution of such items cannot be coordinated by TNT. If such donations have already been made, please instruct your colleagues to make arrangements with local NGOs.

5. Communication
The contents of this message are to be used for internal and external communication purposes and should be seen as the official source of information on TNT's response to the Tsunami disaster.

6. External media coverage.
TNT's efforts were mentioned in a recent press release by UNHCR.

7. More information
For more information on TNT's response to the tsunami disaster please contact the Moving the World programme office at this email address or at +31 20 500 6740.

5th Jan 2005, 04:45
In light of the tragic events in Asia on the 26th December, I would like to thank all of you, both Cabin Crew and Pilots who have contacted our Agency to volunteer for Relief Work. We all work in the Aviation Industry together and your generosity has been second to none. This tragedy has touched us all and I know that we all want to help in any way we can. I have been able to contact a few Airlines in the Region, but the logistics of getting Validations and Licenses as you all know is a slow process. I would very much suggest that you contact directly some of the Charties/Aid Agencies to see how you contribute. I am sure that many of you can contriubute your skills one way or the other. As there are so many of you whom have contacted me, I felt it was best to publicly thank you all, and I know you all read PPRUNE.

Kind regards