[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 16:14 GMT
Architect named as tsunami victim
Dominic Stephenson, 27, and Eileen Lee, 24
Dominic Stephenson and Eileen Lee were holidaying in Thailand
An Edinburgh architect has become the first Scot to be confirmed as a victim of the Asian tsunami.

Dominic Stephenson, 27, was holidaying on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi with Eileen Lee, 24. She is still missing.

Members of the Stephenson family spoke of their sadness and said that their thoughts went out to everyone still going through a similar experience.

Forty Britons are confirmed to have died, and a further 159 are thought "highly likely" to be victims.

In all, almost 140,000 people have been confirmed dead after the tsunami devastated the area on Boxing Day.

Thousands are still missing, while an estimated five million people have been made homeless.

Family members

Mr Stephenson and Ms Lee, who were celebrating moving in together, were staying in the Charlie Beach resort - one of the worst hit by the disaster.

Mr Stephenson's father David said that his son's body had been identified by Dominic's uncle in Thailand.

He said: "The family feels devastation because Dominic was a young man starting out in life.

"He had just bought a flat with his girlfriend and he had spent time getting that organised.

"We feel sadness, but we are happy that we have found his remains."

Our thoughts go out to everyone here and in Thailand who are going through what our family has gone through this last week
Dominic Stephenson's family
Mr Stephenson worked as an architect in Edinburgh, while Ms Lee, who is Chinese in origin but was brought up in Scotland, was an event co-ordinator for the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The couple bought a flat together in the Scottish capital last month.

Members of the Stephenson family last spoke to Dominic on Christmas Day, when he was said to be "tremendously happy and really enjoying being in such a beautiful place".

In a statement, the family said: "Our thoughts go out to everyone here and in Thailand who are going through what our family has gone through this last week, waiting as hope slowly fades in the face of the size and scale of this disaster.

"Our one comfort was that Dominic was in love - with Eileen, with his family and friends, and with life - when tragedy struck."

Passport found

However, there has been joy for friends and relatives of East Lothian man Allister Purves.

For several days his parents feared that the 30-year-old, from Port Seton, was dead.

His passport was found on the body of one of the victims on the now devastated Andaman Islands.

However, his family was stunned when Mr Purves phoned them on 1 January to wish them a happy new year.

Scottish Water bottles being loaded onto plane
Scottish Water has already sent bottled water to the Maldives
Meanwhile, a special task force has been established in Edinburgh to co-ordinate fund-raising for disaster relief.

The community leaders were called together by the city's Lord Provost, Councillor Lesley Hinds.

Staff from the city council and Lothian Health Board could be seconded to the disaster area if they have special skills needed by the aid agencies.

A cargo plane full of water left Prestwick Airport bound for the Maldives on Monday evening.

It was the first aid to be flown directly from Scotland to assist the relief efforts in the area.

The supplies on board included 45 tonnes of bottled water, collapsible jerry cans and water sterilisation tablets.

Offers of help

The supplies were gathered by Scottish Water, with various private companies also contributing aid.

Scottish Water, which is planning to send more aid to Sri Lanka later this week, said it had been inundated with offers of help after it despatched thousands of bottles of water from Manchester Airport last week.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland began a visit to Asia on Monday.

Everyone in Scotland is stunned and saddened by the scale of this tragedy
Dr Allison Elliot
Moderator
Dr Allison Elliot flew to Mumbai as planned, but has changed her schedule to visit two areas struck by the tsunami - the Indian city of Madras and Sri Lanka - later in the week.

She is due to worship with the congregation of St Andrew's Scots Kirk in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, on Sunday.

Dr Elliot said: "Everyone in Scotland is stunned and saddened by the scale of this tragedy."

More than 8m has already been pledged to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal by people in Scotland.

The Scottish National Party's Holyrood leader Nicola Sturgeon is calling for a parliamentary debate to be held as soon as possible to discuss what Scotland can do to help.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific