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Tsunamis in South Asia


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From CNN.com

BTW: Watching the news I just saw the number of casualties reached 55,000 (!!!)

RIP :(

Relief workers are now in a race against time to prevent other people from dying of disease and starvation, two days after a massive undersea earthquake sent huge waves crashing ashore in at least 10 countries.

More than half of those confirmed dead -- 18,000 -- were killed in Sri Lanka, where the giant waves swept a 1,000-passenger train off its tracks, and the dead and injured swamped hospitals and medical workers.

"It's a huge situation, and there are instances where bodies are decomposing, and they're being photographed and fingerprinted" before being taken to mass graves, said Harim Peiris, spokesman for President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

"And there are instances where entire families have been wiped out."

Twelve trucks carrying rice, lentils and sugar left a U.N. World Food Program depot in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Tuesday, headed to the country's southern and eastern coasts, The Associated Press reported.

The U.N. mission was also dispatching water bottles, bed sheets and cooking utensils, AP said.

Peiris said the most essential need at the moment was to keep people alive with cooked meals and clean drinking water -- and only later to begin rebuilding

As aid began to arrive in several countries, families continued to flock to makeshift morgues seeking lost loved ones as hundreds of thousands have been left homeless in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Authorities across the region are running out of places to put the dead -- lining them up in schools and stacking them in the street -- as food aid and other supplies for survivors are making their way to affected areas.

The United Nations is asking donor countries to dig deeper, saying this will likely be the costliest natural disaster ever.

"People need help fast," said one man in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where flags were at half-staff.

"There's no power, there's no petrol, there's no movement, there's no support getting through to the injured, and I believe there are bodies that need to be identified and transported out of there. With this heat, sanitation problems will arise."

The magnitude 9.0 quake struck about 7 a.m. Sunday (0000 GMT) and was centered about 100 miles (160 kilometers) off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island at a depth of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

The tsunamis' paths left massive, indiscriminate destruction in areas that included some of the world's richest tourist sites and impoverished villages.

Nearly 48 hours later, no one was under any illusion that the death toll would not rise significantly. (Disease threat)

Most of the fatalities in Sri Lanka were in the eastern district of Batticaloa, authorities said.

Thousands were missing, an estimated one million were displaced and an estimated 250,000 were homeless. (Shock and loss)

The Sri Lankan government declared a state of emergency, and, along with the government of the Maldives, requested international assistance, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

About 20,000 Sri Lankan soldiers and naval personnel have launched relief and rescue efforts.

India sent six warships carrying supplies, along with helicopters.

Italy, France and Pakistan also sent help to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has been in the throes of a civil war, and land mines uprooted by the tidal waves were hampering relief efforts.

But Jeffrey Lunstead, the U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka, said he was told the Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeast and government forces were cooperating in the aftermath of the disaster.

"That's a good sign," he told CNN.

India also was reeling from the aftermath of the quake and tsunamis. Press Trust of India, the government news agency, said at least 9,500 Indians were killed and more bodies were being recovered.

Along India's southeastern coast, thousands of fishermen who were at sea when the waves thundered ashore have not returned.

Along the coast, brick foundations were all that remained of village homes.

In Tamil Nadu state, sources said 6,000 people were confirmed dead, and estimates put the death toll at 3,000 on the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands, where dozens of aftershocks were centered. (Full story)

Asian government officials conceded Monday that they failed to issue public warnings that could have saved many lives. (Full story)

Efforts to provide survivors with food and shelter were hampered by the overwhelming magnitude of the damage.

In Thailand, authorities said at least 1,010 people were dead and hundreds missing along the country's west coast -- home to 40 percent of Thailand's $10 billion tourist industry. ( Death toll could reach 2,000)

Khun Poom Jensen, the 21-year-old autistic grandson of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was among those killed.

One of the heaviest hit areas was Phuket, where 130 people were dead and as many as 600 people were believed to have been washed out to sea.

Many of the dead and missing are believed to be foreign nationals who were on the beach when the massive waves hit.

One of the survivors was a 20-month-old Swedish boy who turned up in the Phuket International Hospital.

It was only after the news media published his photo that relatives in Europe contacted the hospital to identify him. The child -- Hannes Bergstrom -- was finally reunited with his uncle and grandmother. His mother is still missing, while his father and grandfather were located in another hospital. (Full story)

John Irvine of Britain's ITN television was enjoying the beach In Phuket Sunday morning and ran into his bungalow to get a camera. When he returned, he saw "this wall of water heading our way, and my wife screamed to me."

"She grabbed our daughter, and I looked frantically for my five-year-old son," Irvine told CNN. "He was looking out to sea. He was mesmerized, hypnotized by the wall of water."

Irvine said he grabbed the boy and "ran as hard as I could," before being washed 50 yards into a mangrove swamp.

By dawn on Tuesday, many bodies could be seen littering the shoreline.

Indonesia government officials estimate that more than 4,731 people have been killed. (Full story)

Purnomo Sidi, national disaster director, has told wire services the death toll is "around 15,000," and private, officials are saying the total could easily reach 25,000.

Information from Aceh province -- closest to the epicenter, which was about 100 miles off the coast -- has been slow in coming because communications were cut off and because of a rebel insurgency based in the area.

In the Maldives, 46 people are dead and more than 70 missing, according to Hassan Sobir, the Maldives high commissioner.

India and Pakistan have sent equipment to the Maldives, where communication had been re-established with the northern most of the widely scattered islands south of India -- most rising barely five feet above sea level, Sobir said.

The southern islands, however, remained "out of reach," he said.

"The entire Maldives, I think, for a moment disappeared from the planet Earth," he said. "Some islands may have completely disappeared, we don't know yet. But all the islands have been affected."

As far away as Somalia on Africa's east coast, reports trickled in of fishermen swept out to sea and lost swimmers, but those reports were unconfirmed.

Among the dead are at least 61 from outside the region.

That number includes 13 Italians, 11 Britons, 10 Norwegians, eight Americans, six Australians, six French, four Austrians, and three Danes, officials from those countries were reported by The Associated Press as saying, with hundreds more reported missing.

No warning

The tsunamis struck with no warning at those in coastal areas -- particularly Indonesia, so close to the source -- as no warning system exists for the Indian Ocean, said Eddie Bernard, director of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine and Environmental Labs in Seattle, Washington.

Such tsunamis are much more common around the Pacific Rim than in the Indian Ocean.

The quake represented the energy released from a rupture in the earth's crust more than 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) long, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) said.

It was the strongest earthquake since 1964 and tied a 1952 quake in Kamchatka, Russia, as the fourth-strongest since such measurements began in 1899.

The quake hit a year after the 6.6-magnitude quake in Bam, Iran, which killed more than 30,000 people, injured another 30,000 and destroyed 85 percent of the buildings in the city.

CNN's Aneesh Raman in Phuket, Thailand; Satinder Bindra in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Atika Shubert in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Suhasini Haidar in Chennai, India, contributed to this report.

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Yeah, a friend of mine is out in Sri Lanka working on a community development/environmental project. He was spending Christmas at the beach in the South-East; the closest point of Sri Lanka to the epicentre of the earthquake. He's incredibly lucky to be alive (only sustained a few cuts and bruises), and seemingly only survived thanks to locals running along the beach shouting warnings.

Another friend of mine, though, is spending a year teaching in Thailand. I haven't even heard her fate and I only hope she was nowhere near the coast.

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From CNN.com

BTW: Watching the news I just saw the number of casualties reached 55,000 (!!!)

Very tragic! Still, despite the rising death toll, Fox News today has managed to cover the courageous Czech 'Super Model' that survived by clinging onto a tree for eight hours, several times today :wacko:

DS

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gotta love the west, thjis thang happened on christmas or boxing day, but cos we close down for XMas, no one seemed to give a crap until monday here.

an 8.5 quake happened south of New Zealand last week. The plates moved horizontaly aganist each other. If they moved verticly, similar thing would be happening to the aussie east coast and New Zealand.

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For the Yanks among us- http://www.americares.org or http://www.redcross.org/ I encourage you to find something, really anything, to give, even five bucks. A lot of those folks don't have what we have to fall back on... :( Anyone know of any other care agencies to donate to? My challenge is this- I just threw down $25. Anyone else want to at least go in a buck?

Edited by WP33
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If it comes to 200,000 then thats absolutely disasterous!! Why does nature bring such cruelties into this world :(

Whilst i fear it will easily reach 200,000, esspecially with the risks of disease, this is still small compared to the death and destruction humans inflict upon one another year in year out all over the world.

Events like this show us we should respect the power of Nature and surely shouldn't we respect each other more as we too come from nature.

RIP.

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Hiroshima :- approx 140,000 deaths, a further 60,000 from after effects.

Nagasaki :- approx 74,000 deaths, a further 25,000 from after effects.

Mankind is also capable of such destruction in a short space of time.

Before anyone starts feeling sorry for Japan, do not forget Nanking, China. The Japanese slaughtered nearly 400,000 people and raped over 80,000 women and children in three month's time there. They got what they deserved in 1945.

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Not forgetting the Millions of Jews/Russians in WW2, Pol Pot, Mugabi, Tutsi and Hutu tribes in Sudan, Kurds/Sheite Muslims in Iraq,Zulu's killed by British and Dutch invaders, Native American Indians killed by Settlers etc etc.

My original point being Mankind afflicts more attrocities on his own race than Nature does.

Edited by BornToKill_TAW
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they have first cases of cholera down there. seems like the real catastrophe has just begun. let's pray for those poor people.

Oh no! :( We've been hearing that disease could double the death toll. We could be looking at over 300,000 dead before this thing is over with!

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This is just unbelievable.  I wish there were some way I could help.  I can't imagine this kind of tragedy.  :(

Ever since I saw the uncensored pics in militaryphotos.net...being a hospital worker myself, I feel helpless. At church, we took donations. All I had was a $20 bill in my pocket. I still feel.....not enough.

Was wondering if there is a company that would match my 1-day worth paycheck to give to Redcross. Its not alot again, but maybe, just maybe it would make a difference. I'm not trying to donate to make myself better, coz "I can" sleep at night.

I just wish I could donate more. Thailand has a special place in my heart, since we

celebrated my wife's birthday there, at the beach of Phuket. Its not there anymore. The people there were soooo nice.

So, I'm with you Para... I wish there is a company that could match my 1-day worth paycheck. Sounds like a crazy idea, but everything starts at "one."

:unsure:

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