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NO. R-19.  House concurrent resolution expressing sincere condolences to the nations affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.


Offered by:  Representative Larson of Burlington.

Whereas, on December 26, 2004, a massive underwater earthquake, recorded at 9.0 on the Richter scale, struck far below the Indian Ocean near the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and

Whereas, this gigantic earthquake, the strongest recorded anywhere in four decades, spawned a devastating series of tsunami waves that raced rapidly across the Indian Ocean, bringing death and terror to coastal communities across a broad geographic swath of Africa and Asia, including the nations of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Tanzania, and Thailand, and

Whereas, the combined destructive fury of these violent natural manifestations has resulted in the deaths of 150,000 individuals, equal to nearly one‑fourth the population of Vermont, and left millions of persons either homeless or without a livelihood, and

Whereas, the true number of casualties may never be completely documented because many villages and settlements were demolished, and

Whereas, according to news reports, women and children constituted the majority of the fatalities, and

Whereas, the impact on families has been devastating as there are now an enormous number of newly orphaned children and many adults who have lost many family members, and

Whereas, the tsunami severely contaminated local water supplies and purification systems, threatening to trigger deadly waterborne diseases that could increase sharply the already tragic number of fatalities, and

Whereas, innumerable individuals, both in the United States and abroad, have supported emergency assistance efforts through financial contributions to disaster relief organizations, and

Whereas, many nations have contributed funds, provided critical logistical and medical support services, or donated fresh water which is needed urgently, and

Whereas, the thoughts of all Vermonters are with the surviving victims of this tragedy as they begin the job of rebuilding their shattered lives under the most difficult of circumstances, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly on behalf of the citizens of Vermont expresses its sincere condolences to the citizens of the nations affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and recognizes the devastating human and environmental tragedy that these nations have suffered, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to representatives of each nation cited in this resolution.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont