Relief team traumatised by devastation
News Straits Times,  7 January

SEPANG, Thurs. - They were glad to be back but they were traumatised by what they saw in tsunami-devastated Aceh.

A six-member Malaysian relief team that arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport tonight after a week-long mission were saddened by what they saw.

HOME SAFE : (From Left) Sarjan Teresa Lim, Lans Korporal R. Ramakrishnan and Balasupramaniam with the rest of the relief team - NST picture by David Khoo

The members from Yayasan Salam Malaysia and Malaysian Volunteer  Fire & Rescue Association was headed by Capt. K. Balasupramaniam.

"What started out as a search and rescue mission quickly turned into a relief mission instead." Balasupramaniam said.

He said the team worked closely with the Tsu Chi Foundation, one of the largest charity organisations from Taiwan, to distribute food to rural areas outside Banda Aceh.

"We found that much of the food and relief aid were being directed to the command posts within Banda Aceh itself, but not many people were going into rural areas where many people huddled in groups afraid of another tsunami," he said.

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