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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Monday, December 27, 2004

Tsunamis Disaster - NRI Blogger Initiative

Ramdhan is mobilising NRI's to send in donations :

"I am collecting the donations through Pay-Account. This is the best way I could find to collect donations as of now. I will report the donations collected from time to time and will publish the details of how the fund is chanelled. Click here for the list of donors.

Please Donate To Tsunami Relief Fund using the Visa/Master Donate Button in the TOP-LEFT corner"

9:41:44 PM    comment []  trackback []

Community Blog - Asia Earthquake and Tsunami

A group of Indian bloggers has set up a community blog - South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami - and are encouraging participation there. Its also a place that lists out avenues for individual persons and groups to lend a hand, with contact details. We'd be delighted to extend it to all affected areas and people.

8:23:24 PM    comment []  trackback []

Prime Ministers Relief Fund

Our Prime Minister has appealed for donations to the PM National Relief Fund.

"Thousands of people have lost their lives and property worth crores of rupees has been damaged. I appeal to all citizens to donate generously. The cheque or draft should be addressed to the Prime Minister's national relief fund and should be sent to the Prime Minister's office, South block, New Delhi," 

The Vice President of India has donated one month's salary. 

Lets follow his example, even a portion of a month's salary can go a long way.  All donations are tax-deductible. 

5:59:40 PM    comment []  trackback []

Asia Earthquake - Update on Death Toll

December 27, 5.30 pm :

Total dead in Asia : 24,000

Sri Lanka - over 12,000 dead, almost 80,00,000 rendered homeless

India - 6000 in South India; 3000 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which faced aftershocks registering 5 and 6.9 on the Richter scale

Indonesia - 4400 dead

Thailand - 840 dead

[Source : NDTV]

The figures are much much worse than what was expected, and still rising.

5:54:59 PM    comment []  trackback []

World sends Relief

The international community is sending aid and relief through governments and NGO's, with Japan, the EU ($4 mn), Australia ($10 mn) and India leading the charge.  Others are promising aid. More details in these reports :

International community sending relief

Flooded nations get US help (however no figures pledged)

Assistance - the disaster prompts quick response and promises of aid from nations of the world

UPDATE : The US Govt has offered $100,000 in aid to India.

5:24:40 PM    comment []  trackback []

Tsunamis - Fatal lack of a warning system

CNN reports that scientists say the death toll might have been reduced had the nations affected by the earthquake and tsunamis been part of an international warning system designed to warn coastal communities about potentially deadly waves. 

"The international warning system was started in 1965, the year after tsunamis associated with a magnitude 9.2 temblor struck Alaska in 1964. It is administered by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Member states include all the major Pacific rim nations in North America, Asia and South America, was well as the Pacific islands, Australia and New Zealand. It also includes France, which has sovereignty over some Pacific islands, and Russia. However, India and Sri Lanka are not members. "That's because tsunamis are much less frequent in the Indian Ocean," Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center near Honolulu, said."

Here's one comment from the article that touched me .... 

"Unfortunately, we have no equipment here that can warn about tsunamis," said Budi Waluyo, an official with Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. "The instruments are very expensive and we don't have money to buy them."

The warning system exists ... but its not for all !  Why can't these systems be available for all ?  Freely distributed ?

1:00:07 PM    comment []  trackback []

Earthquake Update - Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Dec 27, 12.30 pm : Andaman and Nicobar Islands very badly devastated after the earthquake on the 26th.  Coastal areas particularly in the Nicobar Islands have been washed away.  Mr. S.P. Deol, IGP, Port Blair said that a conservative estimate of the death toll is now 3000 and as many injured. Moreover, getting relief to some islands has been tough. 

12:37:44 PM    comment []  trackback []

Wikipedia on the Earthquake & Tsunamis in South Asia

This is so impressive ... within hours of the disaster, Wikipedia has a most comprehensive and evolving page on the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake.   


12:03:32 PM    comment []  trackback []

Tsunamis in Asia - the Morning After

An update on the devastating earthquake and tsunamis that hit Asia yesterday.  Latest news suggests that the earthquake recorded 9.0 on the Richter scale.  

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States of emergency declared by Sri Lanka and Maldives.  Tremors rock Port Blair this morning.

Read Keith Taylor's understanding of the magnitude of the devastation both immediate and longer term, and a detailed explanation on tsunamis.   Excellent coverage at The Command Post, a first-hand account here and updated death tolls here and how you can help [Source : Keith Taylor].

Figures on death toll that continues to rise, [Source : NDTV] at 10 am this morning, almost exactly 24 hours after the tsunamis struck this is what it looks like : 

Total dead :  Almost 13,000.  Many thousands more missing.

Indonesia : 4200

Sri Lanka : 4300; 750,000 displaced and unconfirmed reports about more flooding

India :  3900 ; statewise split Tamil Nadu- 2900; Andaman & Nicobar Islands- 1000;  Andhra Pradesh- 89 ; Kerala- 128

Thailand : 280

Malaysia : 40

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We called up our friends in South India and Sri Lanka and they are safe.  Still, they know people who have been affected and some are still missing. We are all affected.  Am wondering whether we would have seen this huge loss had the region had tsunami warning systems like the US and Japan?

Still, right now its all about relief operations in the region - aid to survivors, hunt for the missing.  Fear of epidemics from the disaster as a result is mounting. Contaminated food and water, break-down in sanitation among others.

Here's how you can help

The why's will come later.  And the human stories.  


10:52:24 AM    comment []  trackback []