Joanna Lumley condemns media's 'great lack of response' to India's cyclone

Actress Joanna Lumley fronted a joint campaign by 11 UK aid agencies and asked people to give whatever they could to help the victims of India's devastating cyclone.

Actress Joanna Lumley fronted a joint campaign by 11 UK aid agencies and asked people to give whatever they could to help the victims of India's devastating cyclone.

Speaking this morning she criticised television news for not giving the disaster air-time saying "television can distance the world from us as well as bring it closer."

The Absolutely Fabulous star, who was born in India, said that 12 days after the storm, the area was "a scene of hell".

She is backing an appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee, made up of 11 of Britain's biggest aid charities.

"I am begging people for whatever they can give, no matter how little. Every last penny will go there - the smallest amount of money can help," she told GMTV.

"It is completely horrific. It is a catastrophe over there. We cannot turn our backs on this."

It is estimated that 15 million people were affected by the disaster and up to 10,000 people died on October 28 when cyclone 05B hit Orissa, one of the poorest parts of India.

When winds of 150 mph tore into the region, followed by a 10ft tidal wave, 1,500 villages were destroyed, leaving about two million homeless.

"Now emerging from this is a scene of hell. There are rotting corpses of both humans and animals. The water is contaminated and people are starving," Lumley said.

The appeal hopes to provide medical aid, shelter and food for millions affected by the storm.

The actress said that just £5 could buy 10 blankets, while £30 could purify water for 1,000 people.

She will appear alongside actor Tom Conti in a series of TV fund-raising broadcasts today, while Streetmate presenter Davina McCall is taking to the street to collect cash.

The DEC charities already working in the region - including Oxfam, the British Red Cross Society and Save the Children - have reported an urgent need for food, clean water, shelter and medicines.

Drinking water has been contaminated and there are fears that diseases like cholera and malaria will spread.

A DEC spokesman said: "Millions of people have been made destitute overnight and left without livelihoods. Crops have been destroyed and livestock killed.

"Britain's major charities are now appealing for money to help people cope with this dreadful catastrophe."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Media & Advertising Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national business publishi...

Recruitment Genius: Media Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Guru Careers: Bathroom Showroom Manager / Bathroom Sales Designer

£22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...

Guru Careers: Account Executive / Account Manager

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea