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Cablegate: Disaster Declaration - Tidal Wave in Maldives

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS COLOMBO 002048

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS OFDA
USPACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR PGOV MV
SUBJECT: DISASTER DECLARATION - TIDAL WAVE IN MALDIVES

REF: COLOMBO 2046

1. Summary: Based on an official request from the Chief
Government Spokesman of the Republic of Maldives and our
assessment of the situation, the Ambassador declares that a
state of disaster has resulted from the tidal wave that hit
Maldives on December 26 (reftel). The Ambassador requests
USD 100,000 under the Ambassador's disaster assistance
authority to respond to the humanitarian needs created by
this disaster. End summary.

2. A tidal wave hit Maldives mid-morning on December 26,
leaving an unknown number of dead, injured and homeless.
Chief Government Spokesman Dr. Ahmed Shaheed told emboff that
two-thirds of the capital city of Male is under water, that
not a single structure has been left standing on some other
islands, and that communications have been completely lost
with some of the remoter atolls. Shaheed confirmed that at
least eight people had been reported killed so far, but
cautioned that casualty figures are expected to rise as more
information becomes available. On behalf of his government,
Shaheed formally requested U.S. disaster assistance.

3. The Ambassador has been in contact with OFDA Regional
Advisor Bill Berger by telephone to discuss the situation.
Based on the magnitude of the disaster, Post requests USD
100,000 be made available for disaster relief. Specific
targeting of these resources will be determined in
consultation with OFDA based on further assessment of need.

4. Based on the evidence above, I declare a disaster
resulting from the tidal wave in Maldives. The disaster is
well beyond the capacity of the Maldivian government to
respond adequately, and provision of this humanitarian
assistance is in the interest of the U.S. government.

5. Action for OFDA: Embassy requests OFDA provide immediate
fund cite of USD 100,000.
LUNSTEAD

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