ONE OF 15 HOMES CONSTRUCTED BY YCMF FOR TSUNAMI SURVIVORS
150,000 SOUTHEAST ASIANS LOST THEIR LIVES in the great tsunami of 2004, one of the worst natural disasters in history
HOMES IN SRI LANKA FOR TSUNAMI SURVIVORSWhen a powerful tsunami in the Indian Ocean devastated coastal regions of Asia in December 2004, 30,000 died in Sri Lanka and 640,000 were left homeless there.
Sri Lanka's minister of foreign affairs described the tsunami’s impact:
“In a flash, on that sunny morning, two-thirds of Sri Lanka's idyllic coastline, lapped by the usually placid waters of the Indian Ocean, became an instant graveyard, disfigured beyond recognition. Tens of thousands were engulfed, crushed and drowned. Buildings were swept aside, roads torn up, railway tracks uprooted and mangled, bridges destroyed; that unfortunate train [carrying some 1,500 passengers] was derailed and upended. The bodies of little children were found on trees.”
Shortly after the tsunami struck, Dr. Tiruchelvam, president of York County Medical Foundation, traveled to Sri Lanka, where he was born and lived until 1978, and where he has family still, to see how the Foundation and the York County community could help. He was particularly concerned in contributing in such a way that would last into the future, after short-term aid had been spent on immediate relief efforts.
With money raised by the foundation and in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity, York County Medical Foundation constructed 15 homes in the Nelliady Batticaloa area of Sri Lanka, that are now completed and occupied by victims of that deadly disaster.