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Disaster in SE asia


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no.gif - so now they tell us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scientists: Tsunami Could Hit West Coast

NewsMax.com Wires

Thursday, Dec. 30, 2004

Tsunami scientists and public safety officials are closely watching an earthquake-prone nation with thousands of miles of crowded coastlines for signs of an imminent disaster. Indonesia? Japan? Try the United States.

Experts say the West Coast could experience a calamity similar to the one they have been watching unfold half a world away.

``People need to know it could happen,'' said geologist Brian Atwater of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Too Fast for Warning to Work

Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast. They are a loaded gun that could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes, too fast for the nation's deep-sea tsunami warning system to help.

In fact, Atwater said there was a 9.0 earthquake under the Pacific more than 300 years ago that had devastating consequences. He and other scientists last year reported finding evidence of severe flooding in the Puget Sound area in 1700, including trees that stopped growing after ``taking a bath in rising tide waters.''

The danger rests just 50 miles off the West Coast in a 680-mile undersea fault known as the Cascadia subduction zone that behaves much like one that ruptured off Sumatra. The 1700 quake occurred along the Cascadia fault.

Scientists say a giant rupture along the fault would cause the sea floor to bounce 20 feet or more, setting off powerful ocean waves relatively close to shore. The first waves could hit coastal communities in 30 minutes or less, according to computer models.

Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; and other big cities in the region probably would be relatively protected from deadly flooding because of their inland locations. But other, smaller communities could be devastated.

And though buildings in the United States are far more solid than the shacks and huts that were obliterated in some of Asia's poor villages, few structures could withstand nearby tremors as powerful as those that occurred Sunday in Sumatra.

Moreover, such a quake would be way too close to shore for the nation's network of deep-sea wave gauges to be of any help.

Even in the case of quakes happening farther out in the Pacific or in Alaska, the U.S. warning system might not be adequate.

The network, which consists of six deep-sea instruments in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii and near the equator off the coast of Peru, is thin and scattered, and at least two of the gauges in Alaska are not even reporting daily wave readings. Also, predicting where a tsunami is likely to come ashore cannot be done with the kind of precision seen in hurricane forecasts.

'Bare Minimum'

Eddie N. Bernard, who directs the network for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the six sensors were the ``bare minimum'' for adequate warning. He said there were plans to expand the system to 20 sensors in the next five years, including 10 gauges for the seismically active Aleutian Islands.

Whether the continental United States is vulnerable to tsunamis from Asian earthquakes is another question. Hawaii and parts of Alaska certainly are exposed, but whether earthquake fault lines in Japan and Southeast Asia are oriented in the right directions to send tsunamis all they way to the Lower 48 states is debatable.

Little Danger to East Coast

As for the Atlantic Coast, a tsunami is considered extremely unlikely.

Some computer models suggest East Coast cities are vulnerable to a large tsunami if there were a huge volcanic eruption and landslide in the Canary Islands, off northwest Africa. But other researchers say such an event would happen only once in 10,000 years, and such a disruption is unlikely to occur all at once.

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At last something heart warming in the midst of it all...

With Little Warning, Director Saves 28 Orphans from Tsunami

By John Lancaster / The Washington Post

NAVALADY, Sri Lanka -- Two hundred yards away from the beach, in the orphanage he had built, Dayalan Sanders lounged in his bed early Sunday morning. He was thinking, he said, about the sermon he was due to deliver in the chapel in half an hour. A few yards away, most of the 28 children under his care were still in their rooms, getting ready for services.

Then he heard the pounding of feet in the corridor outside his room, and his wife burst through the door, a frantic look on her face.

"The sea is coming!" she said. "Come! Come! Look at the sea!"

Thanks to quick thinking, blind luck and an outboard motor that somehow started on the first pull, the orphans and their caretakers joined the ranks of countless survivors of the epic earthquake and coastal disaster that so far has claimed the lives of an estimated 78,000 people in Sri Lanka and 11 other countries. This is their story.

It is also the story of their chief rescuer, Sanders, a Sri Lankan-born missionary and U.S. citizen whose mother and siblings live in Gaithersburg, Md., where he once owned a townhouse. A member of the country's Tamil ethnic minority, Sanders, 50, studied to be an accountant before founding a missionary group and moving to Switzerland in the 1980s to work with Tamil refugees displaced by fighting between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan government forces, which have been observing a cease-fire since 2002.

In 1994, Sanders founded the Samaritan Children's Home in Navalady, a small fishing village that occupies a narrow peninsula on Sri Lanka's economically depressed east coast, about 150 miles northeast of Colombo, the capital. He built the orphanage with donations and money from the sale of his Maryland townhouse, he said.

With ocean on one side and a lagoon on the other, the four-acre orphanage was a strikingly beautiful place, set in a grove of stately palms. The children -- some of whom had lost their parents in the civil war -- lived four to a room in whitewashed cottages with red tile roofs, attending school in the village nearby. Bougainvillea spilled from concrete planters.

"People used to come and take photographs of the flowers," said Sanders, a handsome, youthful-looking man who speaks precise idiomatic English and peppers his conversation with Scripture. "They used to say it looked like Eden."

It was a busy, happy time at the orphanage. On Friday, the children sang, danced and performed the Nativity scene at their annual Christmas pageant, followed the next day by Christmas services and dinner for 250 guests, many of them Hindus from the nearby village. Sanders was so exhausted by his duties as host, he said, that he went to bed early on Saturday night. He also forgot to check, as he usually does, on whether the outboard motor had been removed from the orphanage launch, as it was supposed to be each night as a precaution against theft.

It proved to be the luckiest mistake he ever made.

On Sunday morning, Sanders said, he rose at his customary hour of 4 a.m. to wander the grounds and pray, then went back to bed. He woke up again around 7:30. He recalled the stillness. Not a breath of air stirred the surface of the sea. Small waves rolled listlessly onto the beach, then retreated with a gentle hiss.

"It was so calm and so still," he recalled. "The surface of the ocean was like a sheet of glass. Not a leaf moved." Two young men on his staff wandered down to the ocean for a swim.

It isn't clear who saw the wave first. His wife, Kohila, said she was alerted by one of the orphans, a girl who burst into the kitchen as Kohila was mixing powdered milk for her 3-year-daughter. Kohila ran into the brilliant sunshine and saw the building sea. Even the color of the water was wrong: It looked, she said, "like ash."

Kohila ran to tell her husband, who told her not to panic, he recalled. "I said, „Be calm. God is with us. Nothing will ever harm us without His permission."'

Wrapped in a sarong, he ran outside and looked toward the ocean. There on the horizon, he said, was a "30-foot wall of water," racing toward the wispy casuarina pines that marked the landward side of the beach.

With barely any time to think, let alone act, he ran toward the lagoon side of the compound, where the launch with its outboard motor chafed at a pier. By then, many of the children had heard the commotion and had also run outside, some of them half dressed. Sanders shouted at the top of his lungs, urging them all toward the boat.

Desperate, he asked if anyone had seen his daughter, and a moment later one of the older girls thrust the toddler into his arms. Sanders heaved her into the boat, along with the other small children, as the older ones, joined by his wife and the orphanage staff, clambered aboard on their own. One of his employees yanked on the starter cord and the engine sputtered instantly to life -- something that Sanders swears had never happened before.

"Usually you have to pull it four or five times," he said.

Crammed with more than 30 people, the dangerously overloaded launch roared into the lagoon at almost precisely the same moment, Sanders said, that the wall of water overwhelmed the orphanage, swamping its single-story buildings to the rafters.

"It was a thunderous roar, and black sea," he said.

As the compound receded behind the boat, Sanders said, he watched in amazement as the surging current smashed a garage and ejected a brand-new Toyota pickup. "The roof came flying off -- it just splintered in every direction," he recalled. "I saw the Toyota just pop out of the garage."

The vehicle bobbed briefly on the surface, collided with a palm tree -- the mark of its impact was clearly visible Wednesday -- then slid over the edge of the compound in the torrent before slipping beneath the rapidly rising surface of the lagoon. Another vehicle, a maroon van, was smashed against a palm tree. A three-wheeled motorized rickshaw parked on the property whirled around as if it were circling a drain, Kohila Sanders recalled.

The orphans' ordeal did not end when their boat pulled away from the shore.

Not only was water cascading over the lagoon side of the peninsula, but it also was pouring in directly from the mouth of the estuary about two miles away. Sanders feared the converging currents would swamp the small craft. At that point, Sanders said, he recalled a line from the Book of Isaiah: "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against it."

He raised his hand in the direction of the flood and shouted, "I command you in the name of Jesus -- stop!" The water then seemed to "stall, momentarily," he said. "I thought at the time I was imagining things." With the water pouring into the mouth of the lagoon, he then began to worry that waves would overtake them from behind, swamping the small boat. Reasoning that it was better to hit the waves head on, he said, he ordered the driver to reverse direction and head back toward the open ocean.

But that maneuver carried its own risks. As it made for the mouth of the lagoon, the boat was broadsided and nearly capsized by the torrent pouring over the peninsula. "The children were very frightened," Kohila Sanders, 30, recalled. "We were praying, „God help us, God help us."'

As the waters began to roll back out to sea, the turbulence subsided. It was then, Sanders and his wife recalled, that they became aware of the people crying for help as they bobbed in the water nearby. They were villagers who had been swept off the peninsula. The passengers rescued one young man, who was "howling for his missing wife and daughters," Kohila Sanders said. But they had to leave the rest behind. There wasn't any room.

"People were crying, „Help us, help us,"' Kohila said. "Children were crying."

Eventually the boat made it to the opposite shore, about a mile and a half distant in the city of Batticaloa. The Sanders, their daughter and perhaps a dozen of the orphaned and now displaced children have found temporary refuge in a tiny church; the rest have been sent elsewhere.

The city is short of food and water, and on Wednesday afternoon, corpses were being burned where they had been found at the edge of the lagoon. With more than 2,000 people dead in Batticaloa district, local officials say they lack the means to dispose of the bodies properly and that residents are burning them as a precaution against disease.

The scene at the orphanage was one of utter devastation. The grounds were covered by up to three feet of sand. Several buildings, including the staff quarters, were entirely wiped away, and the others were damaged beyond repair. A body burned near the ruined chapel.

Surveying the wreckage, Sanders broke down and cried. "Twenty years of my life put in here, and I saw it all disappear in 20 seconds," he said between sobs. The orphanage had no insurance.

But at other moments, Sanders was philosophical about his loss. "If there was anyone who should have got swept away by this tidal wave, it should have been us," he said. "We were eyeball to eyeball with the wave."

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Shut up.

I am so SICK of everyone telling the U.S. they haven't given enough money. Yes, we have money. But it's not ENDLESS. Our own people don't have jobs or healthcare. We can't just pull a billion dollars out of nowhere. I'm sorry it's not ENOUGH money to meet your standards. If you claim we're not giving enough, why don't you just pull a couple million dollars out of your pocket?

I have already conrtibuted to the british publics funding that stands at £32million alon , our govt has donated a further £50 million.

We have donated over a $100 million dollars together.

The single biggest provision of aid in the world at the moment.

My country is much smaller than yours , we are not a superpower , we are not the richest nation on earth we have millions of poverty stricken people in our country too.

The excuse that there are poor people in america is immaterial and capitalist right wing propoganda.

America should bve donating 10 timmes what we are because you are that much bigger , more powerful and richer.

America is not generous.

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crying.gif death toll - 120,000 crying.gif

Dec 31, 9:28 AM EST

Tsunami death toll surpasses 120,000

By CHRIS BRUMMITT

Associated Press Writer

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) -- Two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups loaded with supplies headed for tsunami-ravaged coasts Friday and a military cargo jet brought aid to Indonesia, as a huge world relief drive to shelter, treat and feed millions of survivors kicked in. The death toll passed 121,000 and was still climbing.

But with help streaming in, overstreched authorities were dealing with logistical nightmare of getting it to the needy. Tons of supplies were backlogged in Indonesia, with thousands of boxes filled with drinking water, crackers, blankets and other basic necessities piled high in an airplane hangar nearly 300 miles from Banda Aceh, the wrecked main city in the disaster zone.

Indonesia, the hardest hit nation, said its toll - now at 80,000 - could reach 100,000, and officials began to acknowledge that the number of dead may never be known with precision, because the towering waves that smashed into Sumatra island swept entire villages with their inhabitants out to sea.

The Bush administration, which so far has promised $35 million in aid, broadened its response to the disaster with plans for Secretary of State Colin Powell to visit the region and assess what more the United States needs to do.

"All Americans are shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of life," President Bush said in a statement Thursday. "To coordinate this massive relief effort, first-hand assessments are needed by individuals on the ground."

On India's Andoman and Nicobar islands, survivors were desperate for food and water, with still little aid reaching them six days after the disaster. Foreigners are banned from the archipelago because of its large air force post, and India has not given permission for international aid groups to deliver help.

"There is nothing to eat there. There is no water. In a couple of days, people will start dying of hunger," said Anup Ghatak, a utilities contractor from Campbell Bay island, as he was being evacuated to Port Blair, capital of the archipelago.

Rescue workers in the archipelago believe thousands of uncounted bodies remain in the debris of crumbled homes, downed trees and mounds of dead animals on several islands. India has officially reported 7,763 dead in the tsunami disaster - most from the southern provinces of the mainland. The number does not include a complete count from the archipelago, where officials estimate as many as 10,000 people could be buried under mud and debris.

Forensic teams in Thailand packed bodies in dry ice as the government announced its death toll had doubled to more than 4,500 people, almost half of them foreigners who had been vacationing on the country's renowed white-sand beaches.

Sunday's 9.0 magnitude quake struck just off the coast of Sumatra, near the Indian archipelago, sending walls of water racing across the Indian Ocean and wiping out coasts in 11 nations.

After Indonesia, Sri Lanka was the next hardest hit, with about 28,500 deaths. A total of more than 300 were killed in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Somalia, Tanzania and Kenya.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday that nations had donated $500 million toward the relief effort, but more help was needed. Militaries from around the world geared up to help.

Nine U.S military C-130 transport craft took off Friday from Utapao, the one-time home of B-52 bombers striking targets in Indochina, to rush mostly medical supplies to the stricken resorts of southern Thailand and to more distant airfields in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, said Maj. Larry J. Redmon in Bangkok. One of the cargo jets arrived in Indonesia with blankets, medicine and the first of 80,000 body bags.

Two Navy groups of a dozen vessels - led by the aircraft carriers USS Bonhomme Richard and USS Abraham Lincoln - are headed for the coasts of Indonesia and Sri Lanka with supplies and - importantly - more than 40 helicopters to help ferry food and medicines into ravaged seaside communities.

New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Pakistan and scores of other nations also had planes in the air, rushing aid to victims. In Sumatra, pilots dropped food to villagers stranded among bloating corpses.

"Over the past few days it has registered deeply in the consciousness and conscience of the world as we seek to grasp the speed, the force and magnitude with which it happened. But we must also remain committed for the longer term," Annan said.

The United States, India, Australia, Japan and the United Nations have formed an international coalition to coordinate worldwide relief and reconstruction efforts. The Indian navy, which has already deployed 32 ships and 29 aircraft for tsunami relief and rescue work, was sending two more ships Friday to Indonesia.

Asian leaders on Friday were trying to put together a meeting next week in Jakarta that would group Asian countries with international donors and organizations.

Meanwhile, families around the Indian Ocean rim and beyond spent their sixth day of desperation trying to track down missing loved ones, including vacationers on the sunny beaches of Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. Tens of thousands were still missing, including at least 3,500 Swedes, more than 1,000 Germans and 500 each from France and Denmark.

In Sri Lanka, where more than 4,000 people were unaccounted for, television channels were devoting 10 minutes every hour to read the names and details of the missing. Often photos of the missing were shown with appeals that they should contact their families or police.

On Phuket, people scoured photos pinned to notice boards of the dead and missing. Canadian tourist Dan Kwan was still hunting for his missing parents and refused to give up hope.

"At this point we hope against hope that they are still alive somewhere," he said, adding that it was possible they were unconscious or unable to speak.

The search for loved ones on Sumatra was even less coordinated. One man was looking for his grandmother by checking corpse after corpse scattered over a road near her ruined home.

Source..cape cod times

Edited by Dancing_Dumplings
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The U.S.A. is the most generous nation on earth. yes.gif

It's sad that some people want to put us down no matter what.

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Hey, guys, this discussion about which country gave more money will lead to nowhere. I will suggest that everybody on this forum makes a donation to whatever organization they want for the amount they can afford, then we the members of the Unexplained Mysteries forum can proudly say that we can make a difference....

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The United States will increase its aid from $35 million to $350 million for tsunami victims, CNN has learned.

I'll post the article once it's on the website.

Now everyone can stop b****ing about the US for a change, no? tongue.gif

Edited by Guest
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Amen. We are the most generous nation on earth.

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U.S. ups tsunami aid from $35 million to $350 million

Friday, December 31, 2004 Posted: 1:15 PM EST (1815 GMT)

(CNN) -- -- The United States will increase its aid pledge from $35 million to $350 million to help victims of the tsunamis in south Asia, CNN has learned.

The increase followed criticism that the initial amount was far from enough.

The director of the U.S. Agency for International Development told CNN on Friday that the $35 million pledge was only the first step in U.S. aid to the countries that were devastated by Sunday's earthquake and tsunamis.

"The money was committed on Sunday when the emergency took place," Andrew Natsios told CNN's "American Morning." "It's action on the ground that is needed. We will get more than enough money from the president and I'm sure Congress later on when we need it."

Sen. Patrick Leahy Thursday said the intial U.S. offer "gave the wrong impression to the rest of the world."

"That's about half of what the little country of Spain is spending," the Vermont Democrat said. "We have to spend a great deal more than that. We should have been eagerly telling that part of the word, especially the Muslim part of that world, that we here in America are generous, a good people, and we are strongly committed to help them."

More than 135,000 deaths had been reported Friday in several countries along the Indian Ocean and that number was expected to climb as reports come in from remote parts of the region.

Getting aid into Indonesia's Aceh province has been difficult because of an ongoing civil war. Natsios said the U.S. has been able to reallocate staff and supplies into areas of the province that were untouched for four days after the quake and subsequent tsunami struck.

United Nations officials said that the international community had pledged a combined half-a-billion dollars in support, and that figure jumped to more than $800 million Friday when the United States increased its pledge.

Source : cnn.com

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Mad Manfred... I will take up for my country_ the U.S.A. I think you said something about " 'the US being stinking rich'." Well I know how we got that way geek.gif and how we continue to keep our riches...

it's because the US citizens work 24/7. yes.gifwink2.gif

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The USA's economey is un-sustainable though. Plus, most MEDC's citizens work 24/7.

Those pics are amazeing. Nature changes evreything, and those images prove it.

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babs, you're getting a little annoying now hmm.gif i mean its great to be proud of your nationality, im american myself, but boasting is quite tedious. not all americans work 24/7. some do, some dont. some people here in ireland do, some people here dont. some people in britain work 24/7, others dont, do you see where im coming from? there are some great americans, and there are some not so great. the US is gererous, but where are you getting off stating its the most generous?? what about the efforts of countries around the world, why wouldnt their generousity match that of the US??? people are people, theres generous people across the globe, not just one single group more so than the rest. we're all human, we all have the capacity to show compassion for our fellow people and aid them in their time of need.

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U.S. ups tsunami aid from $35 million to $350 million

Thats the kind of amount America should be giving. thumbsup.gifyes.gif

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I agree. This is a real problem in some parts of the USA nowadays. The other day in my 9/11 thread someone said:

'Walken, I'm sorry that you're so messed up just because you're countrys not a super power like the US is'.

Not a lot of people realise that theres a differnce between patriotisim and arrogance.

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just saying what needs to be said. original.gif

lets stop regarding each other as different groups or nationalities, right now is a time to come together as a whole, as humanity.

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Yeah. People should pay attention to Mr. Lennon, because that guy knows!

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Deathtoll now stands at 150,000

America has decided to pull it's act together and put forth around $450,000,000.

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thats more like it .

We all live in rich countries , we should provide for these people thats what civilised societies do thats the point liberalism and left wing socialistic thinking IS the way forward.

We shouldnt just stop with this tsunami.

We should wipe out third world debt completley, we can do it and it wouldnt even affect us in the slightest.

We destroyed africa AND most of Asia its time for us to pick up the bill and resposibility for the world from which we have taken so much.

Babs you really take the biscuit.

I take it you think also that america is the hardest working nation on earth?

How do u explain the fact that Japan on average has teh longest working employees on earth, and that people in the UK are second statistically to them.

Look babs we all have hard workers and spongers its a fact but no country is the MOST GENEROUS on earth tahts a ridiculous statement.

None of us do enough (countrywise not personally)

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Everyone was saying we weren't generous. Bush said we were the most generous people there are. wub.gif

And it looks like we are.

But folks this isn't a competition and I am aware of slackers in every country, since some of you were downing my country I thought I'd stick up for it. wink2.gif

...every one of you would have done the same. yes.gif

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And, wun, you said the US wasn't generous. I said they were. Now look at all the money we are sending. original.gif

Bush said..."We are the most generous nation and those that speak negatively about us are misguided". Now look here, geek.gif here is an example of our generosity. I don't see you saying, "I'm sorry I spoke negatively about the US", I'm sorry I will give them credit." no.gif No, I see you talking the US down.

Are you on a hate campaign against the United States?

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Everyone was saying we weren't generous. Bush said we were the most generous people there are. wub.gif

And it looks like we are.

Actually Japan is now considered the most generous...

And, wun, you said the US wasn't generous. I said they were. Now look at all the money we are sending. original.gif

...but i think we shouldn't be saying 'Look how much my country gave blah blah blah'. We should be looking at ourselves and how much did i give PERSONALY

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