The Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group for leading charities, said £10m had been raised overnight following TV and radio appeals.
With the death toll threatening to rise above 100,000, 26 Britons are confirmed dead and many more are missing.
The UK Government is also sending £15m in aid as experts warn that disease and water shortages could kill thousands.
BBC - UK digs deep for tsunami victims
Money is not enough when you can't drink dollar bills. Forget the arguments about how much should be donated by different governments or how much the Queen is going to donate. The real issue is that the richest countries in the world need to set up some kind of organisation for dealing with disasters like these.
The USA the European Union and the United Nations are each talking about setting up co-ordinated relief efforts which may take weeks or months to become effective. There needs to be mechanisms in place that can be activated at a moments notice to help save lives in these situations.
It will take more than a few tens of millions of dollars. It would need a commitment to spend billions to set up an organisation that can go into a country and build a basic infrastructure from scratch in days rather than months.
Louise Ferguson has asked the question : "Is this an appropriate time for governments, relief organisations and international bodies such as the UN to reassess how the Internet can best be used in the future?"
Why not use the expertise of Google, Amazon, E-bay, PayPal and Wikipedia to build a resilient internet based system that would allow people to pay for specific relief supplies. They could also build Wikis that would allow information about individuals to be made available world wide. People could donate their time and use these systems to try and help track down lost friends and relatives.
Our governments should be putting much more effort into dealing with these world-wide issues, but perhaps we should make a start by thinking about how we can use the Internet to build a system that can help co-ordinate the good will and generosity of the worlds citizens to help to save the lives of the people who most need our help.
How To Donate
- The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is an umbrella group of UK charities including, among others, British Red Cross, Cafod, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund
- Call them on 0870 60 60 900 or donate online at www.dec.org.uk
- By the end of the week people should be able to donate cash or cheques - made payable to the DEC Tsunami Earthquake Appeal - at High Street banks.
- Cash or cheques (made payable to Post Office Ltd) can be donated over the counter at Post Office branches.
- Other bodies raising money include Muslim groups Muslim Aid (020 7377 4200) and Islamic Relief (0121 622 0622)
- Sri Lankan organisations including Asia Quake Relief Appeal UK (firstname.lastname@example.org) are also raising money