Thursday, December 30, 2004

Sorrow Beyond Words

A father found the body of his eight-year-old son today on the beach in Cuddalore, India.
Photo credit: NY Times/Arko Datta/Reuters

Sorrow beyond words

One year ago...

Tsunami Blogs You Can Rely On

Tsunami Blogs You Can Rely On

At The American Street, Kevin Hayden has compiled some comprehensive information about the latest in blog technology and how, side-by-side with mainstream journalism, the blogosphere is positively effecting the efficiency and speed of relief for the tsunami victims through on-line activism.

Tsunami Blogs you can rely on, Pt. 1
Tsunami Blogs you can rely on, Pt. 2

Kevin Sites is Blogging Again

Kevin Sites is Blogging Again

This time he's in Thailand. His latest blog is a must-read.

Tsunami: "Mysterious Forces"

Praying for a lost loved one in Thailand
AP photo

Tsunami: "Mysterious Forces"

"There are mysterious forces out there that are not fully understood by our oh-so-rational selves. I am reminded of the strange signs and omens that historians recorded before calamities: for instance the rain of frogs in Vietnam preceding the cataclysmic war. Or the odd celestial signs that preceded the death of Julius Caesar.

It is said that the very elements can be affected by the mystical powers of sages who have acquired superhuman powers through meditation and sadhana. I think we should all tread carefully, for now we are treading on things we do not know

--Rajeev Srinivasan


"There is no drop of water in the sea—not even in the deepest part of the abyss—that does not respond to the mysterious forces that create the tides. No other forces that affect the sea are so strong."

--From The Sea III—Wind, Sun, and Moon by Rachel L. Carson, where she considers the science of waves, and the relationship between the earth and the sea.


"One can almost hear the Hindu gods in one editorial from the Times of India. "Such stupendous forces beyond conception can inspire only awe," the paper wrote. "And ultimate humility in the face of a mysterious creation which, to make itself complete, must inevitably contain the seeds of its own eventual dissolution."

...."If you have seen the swirling, swelling and churning waters of the ponds on that fateful day you would have understood that it was nothing but the workings of the supernatural forces. We rushed to the local soothsayer and he said it was all because of our sins of this age of indiscipline and hedonism."

..."If today I talk about God's fury, I would be ridiculed," the priest says. "But in our Hindu religion there is 'karmaphal,' the result of our actions, good or bad. There is a constant human effort to tame nature in the sky, land and water. We are cutting trees, we are destroying the mangroves.... Our actions unleash an imbalance in the ecology and then such things perhaps happen.

--from: Eco-Disaster, or God's Wrath? Indians React to Tsunami by Sujoy Dhar and Sandip Roy


In the news:

'Earthquakes don't kill; human error does'
"the death toll in Chennai and towns is high because without regard to elementary rules, people have been settling down on the beach and this has been encouraged by the politicians."

'Earthquakes do not give prior warning'
"The Indian Meteorological Department today cautioned that after-shocks of the massive earthquake that struck Indonesia and Andaman and Nicobar islands would continue in the coming days."

Tsunami Updated Information, Collected Stories, Death Toll

BBC News image

Tsunami Updated Information, Collected Stories, Death Toll

"The BBC's Rachel Harvey, in Banda Aceh, reported seeing ten truck-loads of bodies delivered to one mass grave in just 20 minutes..."

News Trove (Indonesia)

New York Times: The year the earth fought back by Simon Winchester

India Daily- Tsunami effect: Days get shorter

I learned about an excellent piece of journalism by the WP's Michael Dobbs from Roger Mellen via Anonymoses.
Thanks to both. This is a first-hand accounting of a nightmare-turned all too real.

BBC News photo

BBC- Survivors tells of tsunami train horror "The Queen of the Sea was nearing its destination when the waves knocked it sideways.."


BBC-Swallowed Up by the Savage Sea by Soutik Biswas-
"Within five minutes, Khan and his team work through the debris to bring out Pakirammal, cover her face with a red jumper, daub her with DDT and cart her off to the hospital.

"You have left me, you have left me," howls a disconsolate Shanmugham. His son weeps for the first time during the day.

Then, father and son follow their decomposed mother on her last journey.

There is even less dignity in death for the poor than in life.

After tagging her in hospital, a track will dump her inside a big hole in the ground on top of other bodies and the earth poured in hastily.

About NOAA and Tsunamis

An excellent website: INDONESIAN TSUNAMI AIDS

Some facts from CNN:

CNN photo
- Death count from tsunamis at 80,427, more than half of those in Indonesia
- One in four in some parts of Indonesia’s Aceh province killed, according to United Nations
- About $220 million in cash donations received or pledged so far for the relief effort, U.N. says
- Two tourists killed for every one Thai, according to Thai government
- As many as one-third of the dead may be children, aid workers say
- Aid workers say clean water the priority, and warn of threat of typhoid, malaria, cholera

via sketches of the mind

Devastating Quake Redraws Map

Rare Tribes May Have Been Lost Forever in Tsunami

Tsunamis and Nuclear Power Plants
by Russell D. Hoffman
t r u t h o u t

CONFIRMED death toll

Sri Lanka: 22,493
Indonesia: 45,268
India: 3,500
Thailand: 1500
Maldives: 67
Malaysia: 65
Burma: 90
Bangladesh: 2
Kenya: 1
Tanzania: 10
Seychelles: 3
Somalia: 100

Source BBC
and The SEA-EAT blog.