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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 12:01 GMT
Water aid flown to quake victims
A Sri Lankan man carries body of his son from hospital at the town of Galle, south of Colombo.
Sri Lanka and the Indonesian island of Aceh are among the worst-hit
Oxfam workers have loaded 100,000 of emergency supplies onto lorries ready to fly to earthquake victims in Asia.

Twenty-seven tonnes of supplies left the charity's Bicester warehouse on Tuesday, to be flown to Sri Lanka and Indonesia on Wednesday.

It includes water tanks, pumps, taps and temporary toilets for families left homeless by huge floods on Boxing Day.

A charter flight from East Midlands Airport is to take the supplies to Colombo and Aceh.

Oxfam said there had been an amazing reponse to its appeals for money.

We are amazed by the amount of money that people have given us - it is very generous
Sam Barratt, Oxfam
It took 40,000 in phone line donations on Monday alone, and by Tuesday evening had raised 300,000 in total.

That was enough to send a further two aeroplanes loaded with essential equipment.

"We are amazed by the amount of money that people have given us - it is very generous," spokesman Sam Barratt said.

"I think this has been one of the best responses we have ever had.

"Whatever the public can give will help in this tragic situation."

Oxfam said it wanted to raise 3m, so it was important for people to continue giving.

It said it was focusing on Sri Lanka, Indonesia and southern India, providing emergency water supplies to avoid outbreaks of disease.

Confirmed dead

The British Red Cross is also due to send out aid planes to the region.

As many as 100,000 are feared dead after a huge undersea earthquake triggered sea surges along the coasts of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand and across the region.

At least 20 Britons have been confirmed dead, with many more still missing.

The Foreign Office has set up a phone line, 0207 008 0000, for those worried about friends and relatives.

A spokesman urged people to call that number for information about loved ones only, rather than for flight information or travel advice.




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