Tsunami + Landslides + Drought + Famines + Hurricanes + World Disaster Relief

America's Heartfelt Sentiments, Swedes' Loss and Condolences, All Relief Efforts, U.S.A Servant Leadership & Technology for Social Service, Human Tragedies, Letters of Gratitude, Pain and Losses, Courage, Quake & Tsunami Stories and News. AmericaresAboutYou is about the Quake and tsunami Relief efforts, providing an information board where stories of hope, courage, solidarity and help can be shared. Find out how you can help and contribute!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

AIR SERV Cargo Planes in Sumatra: Will You Help The Relief Efforts?

The following is a press release by Air Serv. In our search of reputable, reliable organizations that you can send your donations to, we have found this one. Just like Mission Aviation Fellowship, Air Serv is a non-government, non-profit organization that serves NGOs and humanitarian organizations in the world. Once again, you can find more info about them on their website listed below.


"Relief Flights Made Possible by a Grant from South African Government
Medan, Sumatra, Sri Lanka, Jan. 7, 2005—Two Bell 407 helicopters operated by Air Serv International, the humanitarian air service already serving tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, have begun relief flights for victims in western Sumatra, deploying from the Melaubau airport.

The helicopters arrived today aboard an IL-76 cargo plane from South Africa that also carried 88,000 pounds of relief materials. The flight was made possible by a donation of $655,000 from the Republic of South Africa Disaster Management Center. Air Serv leases the IL-76 from South African operator Naturelink.

“In both Sumatra and Sri Lanka, we are now flying medical teams, supplies, and assessment teams to places not before reached,” said Air Serv President Stuart Willcuts, who is in Colombo.

Also in Indonesia, Air Serv is installing two VSAT (high-speed internet access via satellite) systems in conjunction with Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF), for use by humanitarian workers. One will be located in Medan and the other will be in the Banda Aceh area.
In Sri Lanka, Air Serv has the following equipment:

A King Air 300 is operating from Colombo for NGOs, in cooperation with the USAID/OFDA.
A Puma helicopter will be arriving January 8 and will be based Katunayake International for NGO use
Coordinating an AN-8 cargo aircraft based at Colombo's Ratmalana airport
Air Serv International, a non-profit organization, is requesting donations for its tsunami assistance projects. Contributions may be sent to the organization’s Virginia offices, or can be made at www.airserv.org.

Air Serv International excels in transportation and communication links. For 20 years, Air Serv has been providing safe, reliable, and cost effective air transport to humanitarian agencies involved in relief and development activities.

Stu Willcuts is in Sri Lanka, and Air Serv VP Operations Don Cressman is in Sumatra. For more information or to interview Mr. Willcuts or Mr. Cressman in person or by phone, please contact Debbie Payton at (404) 245-8500; email- dpayton@RooftopMediaWorks.com."

Make a donation to those who give wings to others. Without AirServ and MAF, many of the remote areas may not have been reached.

Donate to AirServ Now

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mudslide Victims and Survivors: Jimmie Wallet Deserves Movie Deal: Wife and Three Daughters Perished

Buried Alive: California Mudslide, Creek & River Overflows



If you can't see the pictures below, see them there.











He may not have lots of money to shower his wife and kids with presents, but he had dedication, commitment and lots of love for them.

On this side of the world, California had its own series of natural disasters. It's true we continue to remain glued to our TV watching the Tsunami relief efforts. The rainfall that got the California so wet brought joy to farmers and tragedy to family members who saw their loved ones and properties devastated in a matter of seconds. One such individual was Jimmie Buffett who left Ventura county for this oceanside town about 70 miles from Los Angeles. He was following his love of art, music, mountain and beach appreciation.

"Music is love" engraving could be found over the home's front gate. His knowledge of La Conchita will ultimately be helpful to firefighters who need to have some ideas of where to start digging to rescue survivors of the mudslide.

Jimmie had gone for ice cream. He wanted to treat his wife and daugthers. Everything was calm despite the frequent rainfall. He left with the smile of his daughters and returned to a chaotic situation. Three of his four daughters had stayed behind with his wife, his high school sweetheart. Mr. Wallet is the face of loss brought on by this mudslide in in this idyllic California town. He lost more than anybody. On his way back from the ice cream parlor, he saw the debris, torrent was sliding down toward his house. He ran there to save his family, but could not make it in time. In a matter of seconds, he started digging for them with his bare hands. Soaking wet with his ponytail dreadlocks and crying, he dug his way to one of his daughter's baby shoes. He could hear sounds and was motivated to keep digging.

Since Mr. Wallet used to walk the beach, he had a good idea of the landmarks. He could tell which houses were at the debris and mud-filled scene of devastation. This expert knowledge will become useful to the firefighters who will bring all their manpower to try to rescue as many survivors as possible. He helped map out the locations of likely homes. Would they dig enough to be able to rescue Jimmie's wife and three young daughters? Time was running out. A practical and hopeful man, Mr. Wallet wanted to believe in some sort of miracle. In a matter of days, the scenes of destruction, the veil of calamity that he had been witnessing on TV in after the Asian earthquake and tsunami hit home.

A Fresno City College teacher who knew Jimmie, Mechelle and their s had been praying and hoping for the best for them. She talked about the family's love and devotion. With her own $1000, she set up a fund for them. The smiling faces of the little s could not get out of her own daugther's mind. No more will they listen to their father's songs. They won't be able to take dance lessons and play piano. The music that helped him over the years may not stop. All the reaons in the world for us to find out and support his arts! Part of his healing can come from a contract for a miniseries. Let the network executives who have been fighting over reality shows ideas buy the story of this attentive father, caring and devoted husband. He kept his promise until his hands and fingers gave up. "until do us apart" was his vow to his wife. He did not have lots of material possessions to offer, but he had music and arts appreciation to nurture them with.

The carpenter bass-player's grief is shared many readers and viewers of the mudslide. Reach into your heart and funds to send contribution to:
Wallet Family Memorial Fund at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.

In the meantime, crews continue to use well-trained dogs, sophisticated cameras and microphones to assist in the search and rescue efforts.

Story submitted by ShopnowShop Community Writer

Monday, January 10, 2005

Digital Camcorders, Digital Cameras, Professional and Amateur Photographers Capture Tsunami

We would like to thank the reader of this blog for sending us these pictures. If you have any contributions, please feel free to share with our readers. Use these pictures to understand the needs of the people. Find in your heart some way to contribute to the relief efforts. Remember that we are a network for good. We are here to help our fellow men and women who are suffering in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Let's not forget that Haiti's Central region was also flooded. Let's use reliable organizations to help everybody who is suffering. We, Americans are not stingy. We jump to our neighbors' help whenever necessary. Let's show the rest of the world what we are made of. After all, the rest of the world stood with us on September 11, 2001.

Please click on these pictures to see more!


lanka6.jpg







Sunday, January 09, 2005

Blogging, Video Blogging & Digital Audio: The New Media Are Scaring The Old Ones

Call it the new face of the Internet. This is truly the second wave of Internet users going online to be productive. Blogging is here to stay. Thanks to its democratizing values, it's embraced in turn by the mass, the people whose attention is hard currency for the Established Media. At a time when the major radio, newspaper and TV networks are controlled by a small of group of influential owners, blogging offers many opportunities to the average Joe. He knows that he can get somebody's opinions on his blog. He, in turn, can interact with the message posting.

The combination of video and blogging or Vlogging has already arrived. It's one of the hottest things out there on the web. No Brad Pitt and Jennifer A. are not the biggest news piece around. The social work of blogging is to be commended. Bloggers from all stripes have come together to encourage others to volunteer, donate and contribute to the relief effort. And Americans have responded. Lots of money has been given to various organizations to take care of the needy. Who says that Americans are stingy? This is a far cry.

Digital audio and podcasing are two of the new phenomena that will make their way around. The Silicon Valley's scouts are taking lessons. We, consumers, have become spoiled with all the new gadgets.





Sincerest Condolences to the Swedish Government and Swedes

Fellow Human Beings:

On the day when we, Americans, were more concerned about returning the Christmas gifts we'd received, we heard about your misfortune on TV and the radio. Our heart goes out to you and your pacific people. As soon as we got home, we headed to the TV room. We skipped dinner and remained glued to the box, praying and hoping that more Swedish survivors would walk alive out of the killer wave's messy waters. How treacherous were these waters that swallowed your fellow men and women alive? They did not even know what hit them. All of a sudden, those who knew the ways of the ocean were giving signs of impending danger. But language barriers prevented them from conveying this most important message. Acts of courage and valor were spotted. Young and old tourists tried their best to warn others. But it was too nice a place to have experienced this kind of calamity. Who would think that Phuket Island, Phi Phi, Kao Lak and Banda Aceh would be so ravaged?

Don't think you were alone in your moments of distress. Our prayers and meditations were with you. For the longest time, your country was seen as a model in healthcare services by our countrymen. The types of programs that your legislators have legislated were envied by many others. Of course, you care about your fellow swedes who tried to find a tropical paradise to spend the holiday season. Many people start criticizing you for being too slow to react when the news of the quake and tsunamis started arriving. They are stating that even when it was clear, that the number of tourists scattered all over the Indian Ocean countries, the government took time to react. Critics are good at finding topics of discussion. There's still time to do something that the families of the deceased can enjoy.

Sons and daughters will no longer have parents to take them to foreign countries to vacation. They will depend on you, the government and the proud people of Sweden. These times of stress and pain will only help make you stronger. Don't give up hope. Take heart for the days to come will look brighter.

It is true that apart from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other Indian Ocean countries, you and your people appear to suffer the brunt of this disaster.

Sincerely

Contributed by CC

Friday, January 07, 2005

Waves of Destruction Highlight Ease of Video Blogging or Vlogging on Cheese & Crackers & Podcasting



Source of this video: Tommy Lorentsen et Dagbladet.no.

The killer waves that devastated Phuket Island, Phi Phi, Kao Lak, Colombo, Banda Aceh and many other parts of the South East Asian region may have caused the diffusion of video blogging. Until the last week of December, 2004, many people were not too familiar with video blogging if they were not part of the tech community. With so many people all over the world wanting to see the rushing of the ocean onto the beach and land areas, video blogging will surely catch up in 2005.

If you want to see the effects of the waves on the affected regions, there are a few blogs to turn to:

1. Cheese and Crackers is the first blog that will offer you a great serving of pictures, text explaining the video and other tidbits. In the days after the earthquake and tsunami, Jordan Golson made a good move. He outran and outfoxed all the other established news channels and media to present his new creation. Since that time, it has been going like a wild fire. Jlgolson.blogspot.com presents more pictures of the Indian Ocean tragedy than any news programs whether they are TV or newspaper. That's the good thing about the Internet. If you want to see graphic pictures of the tsunami, the pictures are presented on the blog in the form of links to other blogs or websites. Credits and sources of materials published on the site are posted.

2. If you did not have the time to catch up with the news, don't worry. Blogsnow will keep you posted. Not only will you have access to the current news, but you will also tap into the site's archives. The information is arranged, presented in such a pleasing manner. There is no doubt that the owner of Blogsnow have created a good service. The ranking of the blogs is the main service offered by blogsnow.com.

Video blogs have recently made their apparition. They are here to stay. Now when you add video blog to podcasting, you will get a different brew. The times have come for the ordinary guy to have access to his own communications platform. The democratization of the communications channels are made possible by the Internet.




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Thank You, World! Expressions of Gratitude: What Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Indonesia Want To Express To The World

Fellow Men and Women of the World:

On behalf of all those affected in this region, we would like to express my gratitude to you for coming to our help and rescue. To America, Spain, Canada, France, England, Japan, and many other countries that responded by pledging and sending assessment teams, money and medical supplies, I want to say thank you. You have given us and our people new reasons to hope and live in this devastated part of the world. There are no words that can describe our gratitude now that we see how willing and generous you are. Hope is not all gone from the face of this earth.

We would like you to know something: we truly value your efforts at helping us rebuild our infrastructures and our lives. In a matter of minutes, our world was shattered by these killer waves. We could not get out of the mud with your help. We could not get fed without your pilots and armies of soldiers working very hard to reach us in the most remote areas of our once-idyllic paradise. For a long time, we won't have much to offer to your countrymen who used to flock to our shores. We are sorry that so many of them perished with us. We are wondering whether they'll want to come back once we rebuild the tourism industry. If they don't hurry up, we'll understand that the memories of these well-published tragedies are still fresh on their memories. We know that in the future all of us will be able to put these horrors behind us.

We are specially thankful to the countries that sent their resources, know-how, money and soldiers to help us out. We want to thank the US for using their navy, helicopters and soldiers to feed us, clothe us, shelter us and protect us. We see a new face of the last Superpower. We now understand the position of the United States in the world. The U.S. offers to us the best of their countrymen, battle ships, and medications in these times of high calamity. Their kindness is tremendous. Never will we forget their generosity. They truly care about us when we had nothing to offer to them. This is truly a true humanitarian act on their part. We would like everybody to know that feeding us and showing us compassion are more powerful acts.

We want to thank the other countries, individuals and corporations that send money and medical supplies to our people. We are just thankful that you understood our situation.

Please don't give up on us as we'll need your help in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Thanks very much.





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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Condolences to the Survivors of Indian Ocean Quake and Tsunami

Residents of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, American and European countries

We would like to present our sincere condolences to you, family and countrymen. We know what type of pain you must be going through. We sympathize with you because tragedies are part of our experiences. Today, you and your loved ones may be in this situation. Tomorrow, it may be our turn. We understand that you cried with us when 9-11 occurred in our country. Many of us, Americans, know what pain is. Just like you, we are suffering as we remember our loved ones who perished in various situations. Please know that you are not alone. We want to share your pain. We are praying that you will be comforted and that your wounds, healed some day.

We will continue to pray for you and the safety of your family members who are still away from your home.

God bless!

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Dear Fellow Human Beings stricken by the quake and tsunami

We are so sorry to witness your tragedy and suffering on what was once a paradise. You were looking for paradise on earth when you encountered the fury of an angry sea caused by an earthquake and resulting tsunami. We are so sorry to witness the huge devastation that washed away your loved ones, livelihood, businesses and land. Properties can be replaced but not the untimely disapparition of your family members. We were speechless watching you fighting for your lives. Tears rolled down our cheecks when we saw you trying to hang on to your children who, a few minutes earlier, were playing, running and catching the friendly waves. We could not stand watching you hanging on for your dear life while huge walls of waves were crashing around you. You were surrounded by water. You became lonely. We just hoped that we could do something to help you get out unscathed. The waves took away your possessions and those who meant the world to you, your husband, wife and precious kids. We would like you to know that we also cry with and for you. While we were getting out of the snow storms and rain around here in the Americas, we were stuck to our tv watching, hoping and praying that you would be reunited with your loved ones. In most cases, such was not the case. We are so sorry to see the broken bodies scattered all over the island. Banda Aceh is on our mind. So are Phuket Island's inhabitants and numerous tourists from Europe and the Americas.

This is truly a world event as evidenced by this list published by Sky News (sky.com):
Here is a list of the numbers of dead foreigners:

Sweden:: 59, missing 3,500

Germany:: 34, missing 1,000

Britain:: 35

France:: 22, missing 96

Norway:: 21, missing 462

Japan:: 18

United States:: 15

Italy:: 14, missing 700

Finland:: 14, missing 194

Switzerland:: 13

Australia:: 11, missing 111

Denmark:: 7, missing 24

Singapore:: 7, missing 18

Belgium:: 6, missing 215

Netherlands:: 6, missing 30

Austria:: 5, missing 16

South Korea:: 8, missing 10

Canada:: 5, missing 11

South Africa:: 4, missing 16

Poland:: 4, missing 43

Israel:: 3, missing 7

Brazil:: 2

Taiwan:: 2

Philippines:: 3

Poland:: 1

Taiwan:: 1

Russia:: 1

Colombia:: 1

New Zealand:: 1, missing 300

Czech Republic:: 1, missing 90

Turkey:: 1, missing 53

Croatia:: 1, missing 9

China:: 1, missing 7

Mexico:: 1, missing 4

Russia:: 1

Hungary:: missing 20

Ireland:: missing 20

Spain:: missing 11

Iceland:: missing 11

Luxembourg:: missing 11

Greece:: missing 9

Portugal:: missing 8

Malta:: missing 1

The images of destruction can not get out of our minds. Kao Lak's residents and resorts are no more. Yet, the beach is now calm. Only the debris and corpses from many countries are left behind.

It will take a long time before local residents of affected beach front areas can go back to normal. The officials of all these countries are concerned over the loss of much needed tourist revenue. "Most of the world-famous beaches and islets in six provinces in the South, including Kao Lak in Phangnga, Koh Phi Phi in Krabi and Phuket, have suffered heavy damage. With pictures of our devastated beaches and islands all over the international media, tourists will have no good reason to go there." It's clear that these provinces have lost many of their most precious attractions.


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