Staff reporter THE Balearic Red Cross has so far raised 138.300 euros for the disaster fund helping the Red Cross Spain to breach the five million euro mark. President of the regional branch, Miquel Alenyá, said yesterday that the money raised to date is going to go towards helping emergency plans already in operation such as the distribution of medicine and equipment to help prevent any epidemics in the worst hit areas, caring for the homeless and helping the hunt for the missing.

Miquel Alenyá said that of the 138.300 euros raised, 60.000 has been donated by the public with the remainder coming from the Balearic government, Palma, Ses Salines, Manacor, Campos, Es Mercadal and Sa Pobla councils.

The Red Cross Spain, which is working in co-operation with the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent in the disaster zone, has sent ten of its members out to South east Asia to help co-ordinate the aid in the area between Sir Lanka, India and Sumatra. They are to manage one of the five portable drinking water plants which have been airlifted into the zone.

Alenyá said yesterday that the organisation's missing person's hotline has received millions of calls and enabled them to locate 28 people, mainly Spaniards.

The Balearic branch of the Red Cross has set up a special hotline for anyone who wants to help raise money for the victims and participate in what Alenyá said is the “biggest humanitarian aid operation in the organisation's 140-year history.” He said that one of the biggest problems at the moment, in particular in Sumatra where some 80'000 have died, is rebuilding the infrastructure, roads and railways in order to get the thousands of tons of aid to the suffering people.