We wish to assure friends and relatives of residents and visitors of Auroville that, as per our information of December 27th noon-time, no one residing in Auroville itself, or in the Auroville beach communities mentioned below, is missing or seriously injured.
Following the sudden devastation that struck the Tamil Nadu coastline Sunday morning Dec 26 th as a result of the earthquake off Indonesia , the Auroville community finds itself confronted with the task of sheltering and feeding hundreds of homeless from the adjacent shoreline villages as well as rebuilding its own devastated beach communities.
It is estimated that 7000 are homeless in the Auroville bioregion and two thousand huts/ homes have been destroyed. The Auroville community of Eternity has been totally destroyed and the communities of Sri Ma, Waves and Simplicity devastated.
By noon on Sunday refugees with their few salvaged belongings had started streaming into the Auroville area. At the same time a meeting was called by Aurovilians living around the village of Kuilaplayam to deal with the crisis. It was immediately decided to set up a refugee camp behind the cricket ground in New Creation.
Awnings were obtained from outside and within Auroville, and volunteers started to arrive as cooking facilities set up. By 4pm the temporary camp was ready and Auroville buses and tractors started picking up the scattered refugees and bringing them to the camp. An Auroville doctor arrived and started attending to the most urgent cases. Come evening some seven hundred refugees were sheltered and had been fed. Another smaller camp has also been set up in the Kottakarai area.
On Monday morning the sky was overcast and it started to drizzle and at an ad hoc meeting it was decided to shift the refugees to an Auroville school which offered better protection. The fear of more sea tremors is adding to the influx from the coastal villages. The relief effort is being done in coordination with local authorities and the emergency situation could last up to two weeks.
It is estimated that each refugee immediately needs a minimum of one plate, tumbler, blanket and mat per person. The overall cost of feeding and sheltering each refugee and the renting of materials is estimated at 20 US dollars per person. Help is needed to deal with refugee crisis as well as rebuild the devastated Auroville communities.
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