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Tsunami Relief Efforts Get Record Online Donations

Major relief organizations have received a record amount of money from online donors, helping the nonprofits in getting emergency supplies to victims of the South Asia tsunami disaster.

Major relief organizations have received a record amount of money from online donors, helping the nonprofits in getting emergency supplies to victims of the South Asia tsunami disaster.

More than $20 million have been donated online to five organizations involved in helping survivors in the 11 countries hit Sunday by deadly waves that followed an undersea earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, Kintera Inc., the web hosting firm for the nonprofits, said. More than 114,000 people have died in the cataclysm, according to news reports.

The groups include Catholic Relief Services, Doctors Without Borders, American Red Cross-Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and World Vision.

Donations surpassed the $20 million mark Thursday, when Kintera recorded a 50 percent increase in transactions on the groups' web sites and a 66 percent increase in the average donation amount, a company spokeswoman said.

Tim Ledwith, director of interactive donor communications at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, said the amount of donations it has received has been increasing steadily since the disaster struck. The group collected from the Internet $300,000 on Monday, $1.6 million Tuesday and $3.5 million Wednesday. The U.S. group raises an eighth of the international organization's total amount of annual contributions.

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