Surf Aid

SurfAid has launched an Emergency Response Appeal to help the people of Padang who were hit by a huge earthquake (7.6 on the Richter scale) on Wednesday 30 September.

Our Program Director, Dr David Lange, narrowly escaped death as he fled the Ambacang Hotel, which then collapsed, killing many and trapping others.

Many buildings have been destroyed with people caught underneath the rubble.  There is a report that schoolchildren are still trapped underneath three schools.  One hospital is destroyed and another so badly damaged that staff are working in tents outside. Doctors used car headlights and torches to operate on the injured overnight.

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Surfing in Panama | Photo: CanasDelSolPanama.comSurfing in Panama | Photo: CanasDelSolPanama.com

A successful meeting between ISA President, Fernando Aguerre and Panamanian Minister of Tourism, Mr. Salomón Shamah was held during the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica. Shamah showed a great deal of interest in letting the surfing community know that Panama is a “Surfing friendly” country. The campaign has already begun with an initiative by Panama´s main airline, COPA Airlines, by not charging extra fees for surfboards on most of their flights.

The promotion “Bring your Surfboard for Free to Panama,” runs between September 15 - November 15, 2009. It will resume on March 1, 2010 and run through May 30, 2010.

One board bag with a maximum of two boards inside is allowed per person on flights coming from the United States of America (Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, Washington, and New York), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Manaus) and Costa Rica (San José).

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Tsunami

More than 120 people were killed after a series of tsunamis hit the South Pacific.

The huge waves were triggered by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the region.

Reports indicate that at least 100 people were killed in Western Samoa, an island with 200,000 citizens.

Several tourist resorts and villages were destroyed.

In the neighbouring American Samoa, reports speak of 19 people losing their lives.

Another 10 deaths were reported on Tonga's northern island of Niuatoputapu.

The devastation in Samoa is huge and the population needs urgent support from the international community.

In the Lalomanu beach resort, more than 20 people were reported killed. This is a very popular destination for New Zealand and Australian holidaymakers.

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