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ASIAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI
Thread started on December, 26th 2004.

http://benjamincreations.tripod.com/earthquake/index.html

 
The earthquake and Tsunami estimated the death toll ~120000 (not counting animal and plant life destruction).

While humans have emerged as the superior race of all living beigns and have no control over its growth, nature has still maintained its stature to remain  the only "predator" which can control its numbers.
- SB

Here are the details and facts about the current events.

In reverse cronological order = lastest  item first
(
Source : CNN, BBC, Sify and other Internet News Services.)


UPDATE : 01/05/2005

"My 11 year daughter was taken away from me by the ocean. I made my living from the sea by selling fish. But I will never return to work because I cannot face the sea  for what it has done to my family. I curse the ocean and I do not wish to see the ocean ever again."
- Earthquake and Tsunami Victim"

Sify - Red Cross How you can help
Contribute to the
Indian Red Cross fund for Tsunami victims

Donors' List

OR

Red Cross 2

 



1. Indonesia: 94,081
2. Sri Lanka: 30,229
3. India (inc Andaman and Nicobar Is): 9,682
4. Thailand: 5,246
5. Somalia: 298
6. Burma: 64
7. Maldives: 82
8. Malaysia: 67
9. Tanzania: 10
10. Seychelles: 1
11. Bangladesh: 2
12. Kenya: 1
































Villages have disappeared under the ocean after the waters of the Indian ocean
covered the earth's surface after the powerful earthquake (Andaman and Nicobar islands).
Rescuers in India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago are searching for
half the population of an island who have been missing since the December tsunami.











India's Zoological Survey plans to initiate a detailed assessment of the damage caused by the tsunami to the beautiful coral reefs of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.


India's lead role as  core rescue partner
Adapted from original text by Shobori Ganguli, New Delhi


India's aggressive tsunami diplomacy has puzzled major world capitals. As India demonstrates that it is capable of handling its own disasters, and competently so, the international media witnesses in disbelief.

India is know to be refusing foreign aid. But can India really afford to snub international assistance when its own disaster management mechanism is so ineffective, so sluggish?

India has shot back, proving that it was perfectly capable not only of addressing the crisis on its own shores but also of lending a helping hand to its tsunami-ravaged neighbours.

At a Press briefing, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said reports in the foreign media of how India had refused aid but was unable to take care of the consequences, are "completely misplaced." India has a full-fledged National Institute of Disaster Management and as of now has the capability and the resources to handle a disaster of this scale.

India's  rationale of refusal to accept aid was that whatever international effort was being launched, of which India itself is a part, should be directed towards those affected countries unable to manage the crisis. "Not only have we had the confidence that we can take care of the disaster that struck our own shores, we have also been confident of assisting others affected," Saran said.

The United States goofed up its tsunami diplomacy as its early pledge of a meagre $15 million did little to flatter America's image in Asia post-Iraq. In fact, the US raised its contribution to $350 million only after accusations of being insensitive to world disasters were circulated in the media. Consequently, it committed its armed forces for relief work and initiated a charity drive to assist what clearly is one of the biggest aid efforts in history.

India rose above the occasion, rushing aid to Sri Lanka as early as the evening of December 26 even as it was coping with the crisis on its own territory.

Determined not to stand around as a hapless victim, India swiftly became part of the core group of four countries along side big powers like the US, Japan and Australia to coordinate aid efforts in the Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives and Indonesia. 


UPDATE : 12/31/2004

Did animals have quake warning?
By Sue Nelson - BBC Science correspondent

A Cambodian mahout and his elephant
Do wild animals have a sixth sense?

Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka have reported that, despite the loss of human life in the Asian disaster, there have been no recorded animal deaths.

Waves from the worst tsunami in memory sent floodwater surging up to 3.5km (two miles) inland to the island's biggest wildlife reserve. Many tourists drowned but, to the surprise of officials, no dead animals have been found.

It has highlighted claims that animals may possess a sixth sense about danger.

Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is home to elephants, deer, jackals and crocodiles.

Sensitive to change

Praised for its conservation, the park is also considered one of the best places in the world to observe leopards.

It is now closed after floods damaged buildings and caused the deaths of tourists and employees of the park and lodge.

Yet, surprisingly, none of the park's varied wildlife is reported to have perished.

Debbie Marter, who works on a wild tiger conservation programme on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, one of the worst-hit areas in Sunday's disaster, said she was not surprised to hear there were no dead animals.

"Wild animals in particular are extremely sensitive," she said.

"They've got extremely good hearing and they will probably have heard this flood coming into the distance.

"There would have been vibration and there may also have been changes in the air pressure which will have alerted animals and made them move to wherever they felt safer."

There are many eyewitness accounts of birds and animals migrating before earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The scientific evidence for a sixth sense is lacking, but if the reports are confirmed, they could add to the understanding of animal behaviour and possibly even be used in the future as an early warning system for humans.




JUST IN : 12/30/2004 --
New figures reveal at least 112,000 people died in Sunday's ocean disaster.



Asian disaster: How to help
All About Tsunamis


Initial Post : December 26th 2004

The world’s most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive waves of water that slammed into villages and seaside resorts across Southern and South-East Asia on Sunday, killing more than 9,500 people in six countries. People, tourists, fishermen, homes and cars were swept away by walls of water up to 20 feet high that swept across the Bay of Bengal, unleashed by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake centred off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. 

In Sri Lanka, 1,600 km west of the epicentre, more than 3,000 people were killed. Colombo immediately sought help from India which was afffected seriously also. India responded by sending in all help, two Naval ships to aid rescue and relief operations. Curfew has been imposed in the town of Galle where looters struck at homes emptied hastily after the tsunami stuck.

LINK :  How Tsunamis Form

At least 1,870 died in Indonesia, and 3,200 along the southern coasts of India. At least 198 were confirmed dead in Thailand, 42 in Malaysia and two in Bangladesh. Smaller countries like Male escaped damage and loss of life, though the sea entered the capital. Miraculously, the sea kept out of Singapore, the heavily crowded city-State on the tip of the Malaysian peninsula.




The massive waves that devastated South Asia were doomed to happen as two plates carrying the weight of the world adjoin near Sumatra, but the region lacked a warning system that could have saved thousands of lives, experts said on Monday. In the open sea, Tsunamis are only about a metre high, but when they reach a shoreline, they can be taller than a house and weigh millions of tons. The word "Tsunami" has come from Japanese language, describing very long, low seismic sea waves. It is usually found in the Pacific Ocean where there is significant movement of the earth's tectonic plates.

The India-Australia and Eurasia plates that hold the Earth's surface are lodged on top of each other deep under the ocean near the Indonesian island. "As the India-Australia plate was digging under deeper and deeper and causing too much strain, the plates slipped - on a large scale," said Yoshinobu Tsuji, assistant professor at the Earthquake Research Institute of the state-run Tokyo University.


The result on Sunday was an earthquake – one of the most powerful in history.

The deep-sea destruction throws a huge amount of water to the surface. The waves at first can appear minor, but build up a deadly velocity as they race hundreds of kilometres across the ocean.

When the tsunami waves finally reach land, the shallow water causes their speed to slow -- but their size to grow gigantic.

More than 16,000 people have been confirmed dead as the tsunamis swept away  everything in their path in eight countries, many full of beach resorts packed with tourists.



"Without any tsunami warning centre, people in places who did not feel the tremor were probably unable to know tsunamis were coming over," the daily quoted Tohoku University professor Fumihiko Imamura as saying

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thousands have died after a violent earthquake under the sea near northern Indonesia sent huge waves crashing into coastal resorts across south and east Asia.

Indonesia is prone to seismic upheaval because of its proximity to the "Ring of Fire", an area around the Pacific Ocean basin where tectonic plates intersect and vocanoes erupt.


Violent rupture

The quake occurred close to the island of Sumatra.

Two tectonic plates, the Australian and Eurasian plates, meet just off Sumatra's south-west coast, grinding together and sending periodic seismic tremors through the region.

At 0759 (0059 GMT) a violent rupture occurred on the sea floor along a fault about 1000km long.

Deadly wave

All along the rupture the seafloor was shunted vertically by about 10 metres.

This movement displaced hundreds of cubic kilometres of the overlaying water, generating a massive tsunami, or sea surge.

The wave then fanned out across the Indian Ocean at enormous speed.

Area affected

The 9 magnitude quake, which was the strongest in the world for at least 40 years, wreaked havoc across the whole region.

Walls of water, tens of metres high, slammed into coastal resorts thousands of miles apart.

Surging seas and floods were reported as far away as east Africa.

Scale of devastation

Thousands (~23000) are reported to have been killed, but there has been little news from the worst-hit areas where all transport and communication links were destroyed.

Hundreds are still thought to be missing from coastal regions and, in Sri Lanka alone, officials say more than a million people have been forced from their homes.


Sunbathers and babies were swept off beaches by walls of water up to 10 metres (33 feet) high. Injured holidaymakers, many wearing only swimsuits, were carried to rescue helicopters on stretchers.

"I was sitting on the first floor of a bar, not far from the beach, watching cricket," said Australian tourist Stephen Dicks, 42, on Phuket.

"And suddenly all these people came screaming from the beach. I looked around and saw a massive wall of water rushing down the street. It completely wiped out the ground floor of my bar. Thank God I was upstairs."


The US Geological Survey measured the quake at a magnitude of 8.9. Geophysicist Julie Martinez said it was the world’s fifth-largest since 1900 and the largest since a 9.2 strong tremble hit Prince William Sound Alaska in 1964.  “All the planet is vibrating from the quake,” said Enzo Boschi, the head of Italy’s National Geophysics Institute.


Facts about Tsunamis:

  • All low-lying coastal areas can be struck by tsunamis.
  • A tsunami consists of a series of waves. Often the first wave may not be the largest. The danger from a tsunami can last for several hours after the arrival of the first wave.
  • Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run.
  • Sometimes a tsunami causes the water near the shore to recede, exposing the ocean floor.
  • The force of some tsunamis is enormous. Large rocks weighing several tons along with boats and other debris can be moved inland hundreds of feet by tsunami wave activity. Homes and other buildings are destroyed. All this material and water move with great force and can kill or injure people.

  • Tsunamis can occur at any time, day or night.
  • Tsunamis can travel up rivers and streams that lead to the ocean.


    Tsu-namis like those that wreaked havoc on Sunday, are massive waves usually caused by earthquakes deep under the ocean floor and can travel vast distances. Born of strong seismic shocks, tsunamis can reach huge heights and speeds, picking up strength as they cross the ocean — often with disastrous results thousands of kilometre from their origin.

    Despite their strength, they can be barely noticeable out at sea. “If you are on a boat, you might not even feel a tsunami,” said Wong Wing-tak, senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Obser-vatory. “It becomes powerful only when it is near the shore and reaches shallow water, which then can push waves over 10 times higher than the sea level.” While they can also be caused by landslides, volcanic eruptions, the most common cause is an undersea earthquake, especially in areas such as the Pacific where there is significant movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates. “Tidal waves are not a common phenomenon as usually only an earthquake that’s over 7.7 on the Richter scale is capable of causing tidal waves,” Wong said.

    “Tsunamis travel outward in all directions from the epicentre of an earthquake and can savagely attack coastlines,” he said. “It can easily roll people out to the sea, it causes flooding, devastates property damage.” “The speed of tsunami is linked to the depth of the water. It can travel at several hundred kilometre per hour,” he said. In 1960, a huge tidal wave travelling at 750 kmph smashed into Japan, having been caused by a series of quakes in Chile on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds were left dead.

    What you can do if a Tsunami strikes

    Sify News Desk
    Monday, 27 December , 2004, 11:43

    Tsunamis are most always caused by earthquakes. In coastal areas their height can be as great as 30 feet or more (100 feet in extreme cases), and they can move inland several hundred feet.

    If a tsunami occurs, this is what you should do . . .

    If you are on land:

  • Be aware of tsunami facts. This knowledge could save your life! Share this knowledge with your relatives and friends. It could save their lives!
  • If you are at home and hear there is a tsunami warning, you should make sure your entire family is aware of the warning. Your family should evacuate your house if you live in a tsunami evacuation zone.
  • If you are at the beach or near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately to higher ground, DO NOT wait for a tsunami warning to be announced.
  • Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean as you would stay away from the beach and ocean if there is a tsunami. A regional tsunami from a local earthquake could strike some areas before a tsunami warning could be announced.
  • Tsunamis generated in distant locations will generally give people enough time to move to higher ground. For locally-generated tsunamis, where you might feel the ground shake, you may only have a few minutes to move to higher ground.
  • High, multi-storey, reinforced concrete hotels are located in many low-lying coastal areas. The upper floors of these hotels can provide a safe place to find refuge should there be a tsunami warning and you cannot move quickly inland to higher ground.
  • Homes and small buildings located in low-lying coastal areas are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures should there be a tsunami warning.

    Offshore reefs and shallow areas may help break the force of tsunami waves, but large and dangerous wave can still be a threat to coastal residents in these areas.

    Staying away from all low-lying areas is the safest advice when there is a tsunami warning.

    If you are on a boat:

  • Since tsunami wave activity is imperceptible in the open ocean, do not return to port if you are at sea and a tsunami warning has been issued for your area. Tsunamis can cause rapid changes in water level and unpredictable dangerous currents in harbors and ports.
  • If there is time to move your boat or ship from port to deep water (after a tsunami warning has been issued), you should weigh the following considerations:

    Most large harbours and ports are under the control of a harbor authority and/or a vessel traffic system. These authorities direct operations during periods of increased readiness (should a tsunami be expected), including the forced movement of vessels if deemed necessary. Keep in contact with the authorities should a forced movement of vessel be directed.

  • Smaller ports may not be under the control of a harbor authority. If you are aware there is a tsunami warning and you have time to move your vessel to deep water, then you may want to do so in an orderly manner, in consideration of other vessels.
  • Concurrent severe weather conditions (rough seas outside of safe harbor) could present a greater hazardous situation to small boats, so physically moving yourself to higher ground may be the only option.
  • Damaging wave activity and unpredictable currents can effect harbors for a period of time following the initial tsunami impact on the coast. Contact the harbor authority before returning to port.


    Tsu-namis like those that wreaked havoc on Sunday, are massive waves usually caused by earthquakes deep under the ocean floor and can travel vast distances. Born of strong seismic shocks, tsunamis can reach huge heights and speeds, picking up strength as they cross the ocean — often with disastrous results thousands of kilometre from their origin.

    Despite their strength, they can be barely noticeable out at sea. “If you are on a boat, you might not even feel a tsunami,” said Wong Wing-tak, senior scientific officer at the Hong Kong Obser-vatory. “It becomes powerful only when it is near the shore and reaches shallow water, which then can push waves over 10 times higher than the sea level.” While they can also be caused by landslides, volcanic eruptions, the most common cause is an undersea earthquake, especially in areas such as the Pacific where there is significant movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates. “Tidal waves are not a common phenomenon as usually only an earthquake that’s over 7.7 on the Richter scale is capable of causing tidal waves,” Wong said.

    “Tsunamis travel outward in all directions from the epicentre of an earthquake and can savagely attack coastlines,” he said. “It can easily roll people out to the sea, it causes flooding, devastates property damage.” “The speed of tsunami is linked to the depth of the water. It can travel at several hundred kilometre per hour,” he said. In 1960, a huge tidal wave travelling at 750 kmph smashed into Japan, having been caused by a series of quakes in Chile on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds were left dead.

    LINK :  Deadly Earthquakes

    Source : CNN, BBC, Siffy Internet News Services.


    END ^^^ OF ^^^ DOCUMENT