WRAP Foreign aid, US envoy, rescue teams, WFP relief, adds Marine s”bite

(2 Jan 2005)
1. Various of aid cargo being unloaded onto tarmac in Colombo Airport
2. Close up of USAID logo stamped on boxes of aid materials
3. Cargo being unloaded
4. Crates of cargo with Red Cross logo on them
5. Close up of Norwegian Red Cross logo
6. Stacks of aid cargo in crates
7. Close up of airway bill saying “Medecins Sans Frontieres”
8. Young men moving large stack of aid cargo crates
9. SOUNDBITE (French) Suvanga Franck, Medecins Sans Frontieres:
“We are still getting more supplies to bring to Sri Lanka, for the refugees. This is the second shipment this week.”
10. Wide of news conference with US military officials and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Jeffrey Lunstead
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeffrey Lunstead, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka:
“You think of the scope of this, after all 25-thousand people and now maybe 28-thousand people dead (in Sri Lanka from tsunami), that”s what, nine times the amount of people who died on September 11 (2001) in the United States in a country 20 (m) million with far fewer resources to deal with it. It”s an overwhelming scope, add to that, infrastructure destruction, it”s an incredibly difficult task.”
12. Cutaway press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Colonel Tom Collins of the US Marine Corp:
“Approximately 1,500 (US Marines will be deployed). The final plans have been discussed recently – by recently in terms of the last few hours – so for me to say officially it”s 1,500, it”s going to be approximately 1,500. And we have to get ”buy-in” (acceptance) by the Sri Lankan government too so we can”t just work in a vacuum and that”s an ongoing process.”
14. Cutaway press conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Colonel Tom Collins of the US Marine Corp:
“There are two funnels here. We have got Marines coming in on the ship and approximately 200 to 300 most likely will likely go down to the city of Galle and do AHDR (Arab Human Development Report) type of missions – repair roads, restore bridges, as the Ambassador indicated. There”s flow of Marines coming in from Okinawa,Japan.”
Q: “How many?”
A: “Could be up to 1,200 sir. One-thousand and two hundred. Starting with 200 tomorrow. ”
16. UNICEF aid truck driving
17. UNICEF aid being unloaded
18. Room storing aid
The US plans to deploy up to 1,500 Marines to help Asian relief efforts beginning with the mobilisation of 200 US soldiers stationed in Japan, according to Sri Lankan officials.
Jeffrey Lunstead, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, said relief workers in Asia faced an “overwhelming scope of destruction.”
Military officials said most of the US marines would be shipped into Sri Lanka on the US aircraft carrier Bon Hume Richard, which will anchor in the country”s worst hit city of Galle, a major southern port.
Between 200 and 300 soldiers will be put to work immediately repairing Galle”s roads and bridges.
Beleaguered aid workers in Sri Lanka on Saturday battled flash floods in the eastern region while struggling to bury decomposing corpses scattered around towns, villages and on beaches.
Saturday”s floods forced the evacuation of 2,000 people from low-lying areas already affected by a tsunami.
However, the rain was ending and water levels were receding, he said.
A US aircraft flew into Sri Lanka on Friday with aid supplies, as well as consignments from both the Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross associations.
More vital aid from UNICEF was driven into Galle, Sri Lanka”s second largest city, on Saturday.
Local aid organisations have also been distributing food and clothing to locals devastated by the tsunamis in Galle.
Sri Lankan authorities on Saturday put the nationwide tsunami death toll at 28,729.

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