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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:29 am
Eight thousand dead across South-East Asia following an earthquake and subsequent tsunamis. The scale of this is almost beyond understanding. Check the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian and the SE Asian bloggers listed here by Instapundit for further news. Australia is quickly arranging aid; any donation points will be posted as soon as they are announced.
UPDATE II. Command Post reports 3,000 dead in the Aceh region of Indonesia. Six Australians are missing; three Americans are reported dead.
UPDATE IV. The Age lists casualties by nation:
Sri Lanka: 3,500
As the water rushed out of the bay, I scrambled onto the main road. Screams were coming from the houses beyond the road, many of which were still half full of water that had trapped the inhabitants inside. Villagers were walking, stunned, along the road, unable to comprehend what had taken place.
I was worried about my wife, who was on the beach when I went for my swim. I eventually found her walking along the road, dazed but happy to be alive. She had been trying to wade back to our island when the water carried her across the road and into someone’s back yard. At one point she was underwater, struggling for breath. She finally grabbed onto a rope and climbed into a tree, escaping the waters that raged beneath her.
UPDATE VI. Survivor Kevin Aldrich tells the BBC from Thailand:
I woke up to what I thought was banging on our hotel door – it blew open and we were tossed from our bed by the surge of tide into the room. It broke out the back windows and we were carried out. We scrambled on to walls and rooftops but within minutes the tide surged higher and 15 to 20 feet was not high enough. The buildings around me collapsed and I was thrown into the surge. When I came up there was a branch I grabbed on and held. Surviving the receding tides was hardest. Pinned against a tree by the water, debris and bodies started to pile up against me and it felt like I was being crushed. In the end, the whole resort was gone.
UPDATE VII. The earthquake that caused these tsunamis has been upgraded to magnitude 9.0: “This is now the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake.”
UPDATE IX. Sydney Morning Herald readers have their say:
A pity our army is busy fighting America’s immoral war when they should be providing assistance to the affected areas. – Shane Arnold
These divine winds show that the Gods are displeased with the world’s state of affairs. – Tomoyuki Yamashita
An opportunity for western governments to divert some funds to aid assistance projects rather than their billion dollar war obsessions. – Mother Nature strikes
This latest tragic disaster should open all our eyes to the fact that the world seems to already have its “hands full” coping with seemingly ongoing natural disasters rather than creating such man made disasters as we have contributed to in Iraq. – wayne gregory
Dont expect a genuinely compassionate response from the U.S. Government, as a “war on earthquakes” will not be as profitable as good ol’ terrorism – Nick Loveday
UPDATE X. A useful graphic of the region.
UPDATE XI. CBC News is now reporting 14,000 dead.
UPDATE XII. Compare the ABC website to the BBC website. Note which regards the death of thousands in SE Asia as bigger news, despite being on the other side of the planet. (UPDATE. My mistake; that comparison is completely unfair, since it pits the ABC homepage against the BBC news page. For the record, here is the BBC homepage, and here is the ABC news page. Via Tubagooba.)
UPDATE XIV. Michele Catalano reports that US newscasts gave equal time to the Michael Jackson trial:
Is it because the dead aren’t Americans? Or is it because the networks think no one will care? Or do they just really believe that we are all more interested in who was hot or not in 2004 than 11,000 fellow humans dying in one day?
More from Michele at Command Post. Australian networks have performed brilliantly; we’re 14 minutes into Nine’s evening news, and it’s all tsunami.
UPDATE XV. From Sri Lankan blog Extra Extra:
The sheer brute violence of that single wave is staggering. Every house and fishing boat has been smashed, the entire length of the east coast. People who know and respect the sea well now talk of it in shock, dismay and fear. Some work to do this week.
Another Sri Lankan blog, Ceneus:
It’s always the case of humans destructing nature. But when nature has its turn, it sure ain’t gonna think twice.Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2004 at 06:25 AM