Thursday January 6, 1:25 AM
DiCaprio 'devastated' by tsunami disaster

NEW YORK (AFP) - Actor Leonardo DiCaprio said he had been "devastated" by the impact of Asian tsunami disaster, especially the Thai island where he filmed "The Beach".

DiCaprio, who has made a major donation to the tsunami relief effort, said he had a "unique opportunity" to spend six months at Phi Phi island to shoot "The Beach" in 2000.

"I was extremely moved by the people in Thailand. I spent a lot of time in Phuket as well, which is completely devastated by the tsunami," the star told ABC television in an interview from Rome where he is promoting his latest movie, "The Aviator".

"I was impressed not only by the pristine beauty of that area, but the people especially. The warmth of the people and the compassion of the people.

"So when I heard about the news, I was completely devastated."

DiCaprio is refusing to say how much he has donated to the relief fund, though the entertainment news show Access Hollywood said he had given a one million dollar contribution to UNICEF.

"I'm working all of it out. There's different organisations at this point, and we are figuring out what organisations are going to give the right relief to what area specifically," he said.

UNICEF did not say how much DiCaprio had contributed but said he had been "generous".