SUMATRA, Indonesia, DEC. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Three years after the deadly 2004 tsunami that hit Asia, Caritas Internationalis said the majority of its reconstruction projects are completed.
The Dec. 26, 2004, natural disaster killed more than 225,000 people in 11 countries when an ocean earthquake triggered a series of devastating sea waves along the coasts of the Indian Ocean.
The Caritas agency says its focus is now preparing coastal communities on how to respond should disaster strike again.
The agency’s $485 million program — planned to be spent over five years — provided immediate relief, then went to building homes and restoring livelihoods. Two-thirds of the initial budget has been spent.
Caritas Secretary-General Lesley Anne Knight said: “Three years after the devastating tsunami, Caritas has helped tens of thousands of survivors reconstruct their homes and their lives.
“The scale of destruction across multiple countries was unprecedented. But it has been made possible because Caritas was on the ground before, during and after the emergency.
“We know that disaster preparedness can save thousands of lives. Caritas is now looking at how to prevent such major loss of lives in any future disaster by training communities in the best ways to respond.”