Yes. I will be offering continuous prayers to those impacted and be thankful for being safe from this latest catastrophe so close to where I am.
This is widely known now... but send your thoughts & prayers out to these folks.
Asia Quake's Tsunamis Kill Over 11,000
By DILIP GANGULY, Associated Press Writer
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - An earthquake of epic power struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean on Sunday, unleashing 20-foot walls of water that came crashing down on beaches in seven Asian countries across thousands of miles, smashing seaside resorts and villages and leaving more than 11,350 dead in their wake.
The death toll along the southern coast of Asia — and as far west as Somalia, on the African coast, where nine people were reported lost — was certain to increase, as authorities sorted out a far-flung disaster caused by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, strongest in 40 years and fourth-largest in a century.
The earthquake hit at 6:58 a.m.; the tsunami came as much as 2 1/2 hours later, without warning, on a morning of crystal blue skies. Sunbathers and snorkelers, cars and cottages, fishing boats and even a lighthouse were swept away.
Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India each reported thousands dead, and Thailand, a Western tourist hotspot, said hundreds were dead and thousands missing.
"It's an extraordinary calamity of such colossal proportions that the damage has been unprecedented," said Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa of India's Tamil Nadu, a southern state which reported 1,705 dead, many of them strewn along beaches, virtual open-air mortuaries.
"It all seems to have happened in the space of 20 minutes. A massive tidal wave of extreme ferocity ... smashed everything in sight to smithereens," she said.
At least three Americans were among the dead — two in Sri Lanka and one in Thailand, according to State Department spokesman Noel Clay. He said a number of other Americans were injured, but he had no details.
"We're working out on ways to help. The United States will be very responsible," Clay said.
The quake was centered 155 miles south-southeast of Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province on Sumatra, and six miles under the Indian Ocean's seabed. The temblor leveled dozens of buildings on Sumatra — and was followed by at least a half-dozen powerful aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from almost 6 to 7.3. The waves that followed the first massive jolt were far more lethal.
An Associated Press reporter in Aceh province saw bodies wedged in trees as the waters receded. More bodies littered the beaches. Authorities said at least 4,185 were dead in Indonesia; the full impact of the disaster was not known, as communications were cut to the towns most affected.
The waves barreled across the Bay of Bengal, pummeling Sri Lanka, where more than 4,500 were reported killed — at least 3,000 in areas controlled by the government and about 1,500 in regions controlled by rebels, who listed the death toll on their Web site. Some 170 children were feared lost in an orphanage. More than a million people were displaced from wrecked villages.
The carnage was incredibly widespread. About 2,300 were reported dead along the southern coasts of India, at least 289 in Thailand, 42 in Malaysia and 32 in the Maldives, a string of coral islands off the southwestern coast of India. At least two died in Bangladesh — children who drowned as a boat with about 15 tourists capsized in high waves.
The huge waves struck around breakfast time on the beaches of Thailand's beach resorts — probably Asia's most popular holiday destination at this time of year, particularly for Europeans fleeing the winter cold.
"People that were snorkeling were dragged along the coral and washed up on the beach, and people that were sunbathing got washed into the sea," said Simon Clark, 29, a photographer from London vacationing on Ngai island.
In India's Andhra Pradesh state, 32 people were drowned when they went into the sea for a Hindu religious ceremony to mark the full moon. Among them were 15 children.
"I was shocked to see innumerable fishing boats flying on the shoulder of the waves, going back and forth into the sea, as if made of paper," said P. Ramanamurthy, 40, of that state.
The earthquake that caused the tsunami was the largest since a 9.2 temblor hit Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1964, according to geophysicist Julie Martinez of the U.S. Geological Survey.
"All the planet is vibrating" from the quake, said Enzo Boschi, the head of Italy's National Geophysics Institute. Speaking on SKY TG24 TV, Boschi said the quake even disturbed the Earth's rotation.
The quake occurred at a place where several huge geological plates push against each other with massive force. The survey said a 620-mile section along the boundary of the plates shifted, motion that triggered the sudden displacement of a huge volume of water.
Scientists said the death toll might have been reduced if India and Sri Lanka had been part of an international warning system designed to advise coastal communities that a potentially killer wave was approaching. Although Thailand is part of the system, the west coast of its southern peninsula does not have the system's wave sensors mounted on ocean buoys.
As it was, there was no warning. Gemunu Amarasinghe, an AP photographer in Sri Lanka, said he saw young boys rushing to catch fish that had been scattered on the beach by the first wave.
"But soon afterward, the devastating second series of waves came," he said. He climbed onto the roof of his car, but "In a few minutes my jeep was under water. The roof collapsed.
"I joined masses of people in escaping to high land. Some carried their dead and injured loved ones. Some of the dead were eventually placed at roadside, and covered with sarongs. Others walked past dazed, asking if anyone had seen their family members."
Michael Dobbs, a reporter for The Washington Post, was swimming around a tiny island off a Sri Lankan beach at about 9:15 a.m. when his brother called out that something strange was happening with the sea.
Then, within minutes, "the beach and the area behind it had become an inland sea, rushing over the road and pouring into the flimsy houses on the other side. The speed with which it all happened seemed like a scene from the Bible — a natural phenomenon unlike anything I had experienced before," he wrote on the Post's Web site.
Dobbs weathered the wave, but then found himself struggling to keep from being swept away when the floodwaters receded.
On Phuket, in Thailand, Somboon Wangnaitham, deputy director of the Wachira Hospital, said one of the worst-hit areas was Patong beach, where at least 32 people died and 500 were injured. On Phi Phi island, where "The Beach" starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed, 200 bungalows at two resorts were swept out to sea.
"I am afraid that there will be a high figure of foreigners missing in the sea and also my staff," said Chan Marongtaechar, owner of the PP Princess Resort and PP Charlie Beach Resort.
Many areas were without electricity. In Tamil Nadu in India, a unit of the Madras Atomic Power Station was shut down after water entered the plant. The Indian air force planned to drop diesel generators — along with packets of food and medicine — to ravaged areas.
Some 20,000 Sri Lankan soldiers were deployed in relief and rescue and to help police maintain law and order. The international airport was closed in the Maldives after a tidal wave that left 51 people missing in addition to the 32 dead.
Indonesia, a country of 17,000 islands, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the margins of tectonic plates that make up the so-called the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean basin.
The Indonesian quake struck just three days after an 8.1 quake along the ocean floor between Australia and Antarctica caused buildings to shake hundreds of miles away. The earlier temblor caused no serious damage or injury.
Quakes reaching a magnitude 8 are very rare. A quake registering magnitude 8 rocked Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Sept. 25, 2003, injuring nearly 600 people. An 8.4 magnitude tremor that struck off Peru on June 23, 2001, killed 74.
Associated Press reporters Gemunu Amarasinghe in Colombo, Sri Lanka, K.N. Arun in Madras, India, and Sutin Wannabovorn in Phuket, Thailand, contributed to this report.
"How many Tranes will pass before you understand your life" Jayne Cortez
Yes. I will be offering continuous prayers to those impacted and be thankful for being safe from this latest catastrophe so close to where I am.
The last I heard, the death toll was over 23,000.
The current death toll is 60,000 and rising. They are talking about it being the worst Tsunami related disaster in recent history, although there have been higher death-toll from cyclones - Bangaladesh in 1970 - 500,000 and an eartquake in China in 1976 where over 250,000 were killed
They need a lot of help out there
I'm afraid the toll is likely to surpass 100K, as the authorities reach the more remote areas of Sumatera and Sri Lanka and even resort islands in Thailand. Not to forget, the survivors are still in jeopardy of waterborne diseases and lack of drinkable water and food supplies.
In addition to your local ones, here's a list of organisations providing relief to the disaster victims.
Action Against Hunger
247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
New York, NY 10018
American Jewish World Service
45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Direct Relief International
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres
PO Box 2247
New York, NY 10116-2247
International Medical Corps
1919 Santa Monica Boulevard Suite 300
Santa Monica CA 90404
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
PO Box 372
CH-1211 Geneva 19
Lutheran World Relief
PO Box 17061
Baltimore MD 21298-9832
2200 Glynco Parkway
PO Box 215000
Brunswick, GA 3121-5000
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208
Northwest Medical Teams
PO Box 10
Portland, OR 97207-0010
8320 Melrose Avenue, Ste. 200
Los Angles, CA 90069
11965 Venice Blvd. #405
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Save the Children
Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880
US Fund for UNICEF
333 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
19303 Fremont Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98133
7 E. Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
PO Box 70288
Tacoma, Washington 98481-0288
Christian Aid and the Red Cross are also appealing for help
Tonight, or rather this morning, I am sitting in my nice warm house, with running clean water from the tap and food in the fridge.
I have been having fun with the various people having a try at the New Year Jazz quiz.
Behind me the television is showing the horror of the tsumamis, around the Indian Ocean. I am having difficulty in reconciling the two views of life. Why should I continue here, having a bit of fun. It seems inappropriate.
Does anyone else have this moral problem
You've got company...Originally Posted by Tenorman
LAL, thanks so much for posting that list above.
Well I don't exactly feel guilty about continuing with my current 'comfortable' life vis a vis the disaster victims. However, I do realise that there is a lot more that I could contribute to make this world a better place - disaster or no disaster. Making small steps but probably not enough. But, I do feel somewhat guilty about all my recent music purchases when I could have just donated the money spent.Originally Posted by Tenorman
Incidentally, all Malaysian government sponsored New Year's eve celebrations have been cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims. Private enterprises here have also been encouraged to do the same.
No prob - I'm having a tough time choosing which one to donate to. Probably a toss up among Red Cross/Crescent or Doctors Without Borders or CARE Australia. Most accept donations online. Amazon.com is accepting funds which will be given to the American Red Cross.Originally Posted by clave
It certainly puts one's own life in perspective, but I think, Tenorman, that if you were to do something to help; either volunteering for one of the many agencies providing relief (not necessarily going over there, but helping in other ways); or making donation(s) to them, you might at least feel that, while you are privileged to be in a safe position, you are doing something to help.Originally Posted by Tenorman
Personally, my wife and I have made some donations, and every representative of the agencies I speak with tell us that everything helps, so even if you can't afford a lot, know that even the smallest donation is appreciated and will go towards a larger goal that will see needed aid brought to the victims of this almost surreal tragedy.
Very much so.Originally Posted by Tenorman
By the sounds of things the general public are responding generously.
Let's hope this catastrophe jolts our governments into taking some tough decisions with regard to issues like third world debt.
I think many people have such 'moral problems', at least at times when this kind of things happens. Of course now is not the time to look at these things in more detail, but there will come a time when some will in the hope of preventing some of the deaths that occurred in this situation.Originally Posted by Tenorman
As Bev suggests there is more to this than a natural disaster, it is usually the poor and those in greatest poverty that are effected. Third World debt is a factor, as in the many military conflicts that exist in these countries that have been fulled in part, by some Western countries and the legacy of history they have left in many of these regions.
The reality is that the poor often have very little resources and infastructure to deal with such events. Yes we give and this helps, but the bigger issues remain untouched and that is something that 'we'in the richer countries should be concerned about.
Good ideas, John. (And everyone else.) I'm amazed by the donation stats on Amazon.com, which is acting as a clearinghouse for the American Red Cross -- a lot of small contributions are adding up very fast.Originally Posted by jkelman
Has anyone heard from Rocket #9? He is usually on line and I would have hoped he would have posted that he is safe. I would imagine that he is working hard at relief efforts, here's hoping that he is, and that all is well with he and his family!
They say there are thousands of Europeans missing, and I know that there are numerous missing Americans as well.
Hopefully they will be able to stem disease and hunger, but with flooding now, relief efforts are being put on hold in areas that were hardest hit. A monumental task is ahead, just providing shelter, let alone funds for everyday living and medical care, how in the world are these people ever going to be able to get back to their usual lives, where will employment be? Where will the tourism trade that so many of them depended upon for their livelyhoods be? It is such a long line of links, that it seems an impossibility to fix anytime in the near future.
R #9 I hope that you are safe and well.
Sandi from Hermosa Beach
Thanks for the thought, Saundra.Originally Posted by Saundra Hummer
We're all well. We have guests, and we (those of us who were awake at 07:58) felt the quake in our apartment in Bangkok. My pal immediately hit the web and we followed the progess of the quake/tsunami since then.
So far my wife only knows one person who was killed (at Khao Lak). I don't know anyone (yet), though a good friend of ours is Chief Operating Officer for a group which owns major hotels (the Marriott and the Anantara) in Phuket and Khao Lak, among other places. We've yet to speak to him about it as he has better things to do than keep us up to date, and I'm absolutely sure they lost people in the tsunami.
We also know people who were vacationing in Phuket who are o.k., save for four stitches in one case.
The before/after pictures are appalling, especially the ones of Aceh. I used to live in Indonesia, and my heart really goes out to these people; first civil war, now this.
Thailand has responded pretty well so far. The great shame is that the authorities were warned but refused to put out an alert "because it would hurt tourism."
"Malice, sir, is the spirit of criticism, and criticism marks the origin of progress and enlightenment."
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