Tsunami Tragedy: How the U.S. is Responding and Providing Relief, Briefing Before the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, January 26, 2005   [open pdf - 792KB]

From the opening statement of Henry J. Hyde: "On December 26th, a massive earthquake off the western coast of Indonesia launched a wall of water in all directions. The geography of the destruction is staggering, from the near epicenter of Indonesia to Sri Lanka and India, to Thailand and Malaysia, to the Island of Maldives to the Seychelles and across the expanse of the Indian Ocean to the eastern coast of Africa. The scale of human loss is devastating. We have all experienced the shock of seeing the video footage of the rush of ocean with bodies and debris flowing down the streets of coastal villages or of hearing accounts of waves pulling children from the desperate grasp of their parents. The latest numbers indicate that over 200,000 people have been reported dead, with over 26,000 missing and over 1 million displaced or otherwise in need. The suddenness and the magnitude of this disaster should remind all of us of the fragility of human life in the face of nature's awesome power. The tremendous response from around the world to this crisis, however, should also remind us of the compassion and the humanity of those who rushed to help those in great need. My fear is that the world's attention will soon shift to some other big news item, some other catastrophe, and with it the window of compassion and assistance will grow smaller. We must understand that many, many needs will remain when the cameras are turned off. My hope is that our commitment and dedication will remain steadfast, and we will maintain our focus on the difficult and arduous task of helping victims reconstruct their lives and their livelihoods." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: James A. Leach, Earl Blumenauer, Andrew S. Natsios, Alan P. Larson, Peter W. Rodman, John Allen, Peter Bell, Richard Brennan, Afshan Khan, Henry J. Hyde, Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, Christopher H. Smith, Tom Lantos, Krista Riddley, Dan Burton, Katherine Harris, and Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Report Number:
Serial No. 109-7
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
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