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Tsunami

I was off-line for hours at Madison Square Garden and then on the train home, and in the interim the death toll seems to have risen considerably to an astounding level somewhere over 10,000 dead. That's a number so large you can hardly even conceive of it. Simply horrifying.

December 26, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

10,000+ from a natural disaster is truly horrible.

Imagine, then, the unbelievable horror that 80,000 people (mainly civilian children, women and men)died instantly on August 6, 1945 when the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. And another 60,000 Hiroshima residents died within months from injuries sustained in that bombing.

That's why we need peace, not war.

Posted by: Deborah White | Dec 26, 2004 8:17:57 PM

It doesn't matter how many died because it still doesn't match the horror America suffered on 9/11.

Posted by: Dan the Man | Dec 26, 2004 8:40:05 PM

Deborah,

Umm, with all due respect, the Japanese could have easily avoided such a tragedy.

And aside from joining the fascists in WWII, and bombing us at Pearl Harbor (as well as a few other of their nifty tricks), they had a nasty habit of doing things like this (a much better illustration of "why we need peace"):On December 13, (1937) the 6th and 16th Divisions of the Japanese Army entered the city’s Zhongshan and Pacific Gates. In the afternoon, two Japanese Navy fleets arrived. In the following six weeks, the occupying forces engaged in an orgy of looting and mass execution which came to be known as the Nanking Massacre. Most experts agree that at least 300,000 Chinese died, and 20,000 women were raped. Some estimate the numbers to be much higher - 340,000 and 80,000 respectively.

So there are unbelievable horrors (and yes, obviously both Hiroshima and Nagasaki fit that description) on a much bigger scale than Hiroshima - perpetrated by the Japanese themselves just a few years earlier.

It seems strange to have to bring this up because of a horrible natural disaster like a Tsunami - except that you strangely took the opportunity to bring up how the U.S. eventually responded to a country that not only attacked the U.S., but was known for some of the most despicable and horrendous acts (brutal, mass killings; rape; comfort women, etc...) in the region.

Odd.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Dec 26, 2004 8:43:59 PM

somewhere over 10,000 dead. That's a number so large you can hardly even conceive of it.

Just envision everyone that was watching the game in MSG being swept away.

Posted by: def | Dec 26, 2004 8:45:00 PM

Horrifying it is. However, I doubt Bush's crocodile tears regarding this event. After all, he's killed ten times that many brown people in his fours years in office. He sleeps peacefully I'm sure so "horrified" doesn't describe his state of mind. Surely someone in those thousands washed out to sea was a potential terrorist. That thought has Dubya snoozing like a baby.

Posted by: steve duncan | Dec 26, 2004 8:51:09 PM

WaPo reporter Michael Dobbs (hat tip: Laura Rozen):

It Seemed Like a Scene From the Bible:WELIGAMA, Sri Lanka, Dec. 26 -- Disaster struck with no warning out of a faultlessly clear blue sky.

I was taking my morning swim around the island that my brother Geoffrey, a businessman, had bought on a whim a decade ago and turned into a tropical paradise 200 yards from one of the world's most beautiful beaches.

I was a quarter way around the island when I heard my brother shouting at me, "Come back! Come back! There's something strange happening with the sea." He was swimming behind me, but closer to the shore.

I couldn't understand what the fuss was about. All seemed peaceful. There was barely a ripple in the sea. My brother's house rests on a rock 60 feet above the level of the sea.

Then I noticed that the water around me was rising, climbing up the rock walls of the island with astonishing speed. The vast circle of golden sand around Weligama Bay was disappearing rapidly, and the water had reached the level of the coastal road, fringed with palm trees.

As I swam to shore, my mind was momentarily befuddled by two conflicting impressions -- the idyllic blue sky and the rapidly rising waters.

In less than a minute, the water level had risen at least 15 feet, but the sea remained calm, with barely a wave in sight.

Within minutes, the beach and the area behind it had become an inland sea that rushed over the road and poured into the flimsy houses on the other side. The speed with which it all happened seemed like a scene from the Bible, a natural phenomenon unlike anything I had experienced.

As the waters rose at an incredible rate, I half expected to catch sight of Noah's Ark.

[...]

My brothers' little island, called Tapbrobane after the ancient name of Sri Lanka, was largely intact, although a piece of our gate ended up on the seashore half a mile away. The water rose about 20 feet toward the house.

We have no water and no electricity and are cut off from the rest of Sri Lanka. It is impossible to buy food. We are existing on cold ham and turkey sandwiches, leftovers from Christmas dinner.

The holiday that we planned and dreamed about for many months is in ruins. We feel fortunate -- fortunate to be alive.

Unbelievable.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Dec 26, 2004 9:08:13 PM

BTW, the American Red Cross is soliciting donations:

You can help those affected by this crisis and countless others around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance, and other support to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575

As is the Canadian Red Cross:

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may donate online at
www.redcross.ca , call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red
Cross office.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Dec 26, 2004 9:15:12 PM

Tsunami hits south asia.
For latest news and information about organizations to send donations to visit the following link.

Posted by: BoshTang | Dec 26, 2004 9:18:10 PM

This is, in the immediate apprehension, of course way beyond politics. Another demonstration that Mother Nature doesn't really love you, and is not even your friend, and in matter of fact, most every day in every way, is trying to kill you. Human beings, individually and in groups, are part of nature. The Four Horsemen had three natural disasters accompanying "War", which was viewed as were floods and earthquakes

"But we can control some of the ancient evils, especially war." Uh-huh, our higher state of conciousness was achieved somewhere around 1969, in a mudfield in NY.

Lisbon 1755

Nah. We suck, the world sucks, and y'all ain't gonna survive it. The bell tolls for you, too. Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 26, 2004 9:40:43 PM

SoCal, thank you for posting those links.

Posted by: mythago | Dec 26, 2004 9:43:21 PM

via Brad DeLong , who links to The Command Post - Earthquake - how to help:
http://www.command-post.org/nk/2_archives/018256.html

Posted by: wayne | Dec 26, 2004 10:30:44 PM

Matt writes: " 10,000 dead. That's a number so large you can hardly even conceive of it."

In 1991, a tsunami killed over 138,000 Bangladeshis.

Oddly, they don't seem to have been effected by this one, though all their neighbors have been.

Either that, or Bangladesh is gone and nobody noticed.

Posted by: Jon H | Dec 26, 2004 10:44:25 PM

Interestingly, this is the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, which killed 26,000.

Posted by: Dan Kervick | Dec 26, 2004 11:48:59 PM

Interestingly, this is the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, which killed 26,000

But, they were Iranians, so they don't count... Just like all the other aarabs we and our Israeli friends are happilly killing by the bomb load.

Posted by: Don Quijote | Dec 27, 2004 8:50:23 AM

If the American people are not moved by the 100,000 Iraqi deaths they have been responsible for, why should the passing of 21,000 Asians in the Tsunamis bother or even interest them?

Posted by: Bob H | Dec 27, 2004 9:57:37 AM

I think Matt White listed the 1976 Tangshan earthquake (which essentially leveled the city-- the estimate of 250,000 dead is regarded as low by some) as the greatest single-day disaster in known history, though there are some other contenders.

Posted by: Matt McIrvin | Dec 27, 2004 10:25:19 AM

Geebus, the death count is at 22,000 now.

Posted by: LJ | Dec 27, 2004 10:53:35 AM

Bob H....Exactly!

Posted by: Deborah White | Dec 27, 2004 11:27:05 AM

It's God's punishment because they aren't Christians.

Posted by: Jerry Falwell | Dec 27, 2004 1:08:01 PM

The comment posted by a so-called Jerry Falwell makes me realize how corrupt the religious right in our country really is. God did not create the tsunami - it is part of a natural disaster that is controled by nature - just as evil minded people like you are also created by nature. Religious fanatics like you are a sickening part of our nature and we will cope with your lame remarks.

Posted by: Pam | Dec 29, 2004 1:19:12 PM

Hey, the Good Lord does not have to get even with us becouse he knows we are going to do it to ourselves. I speak as a survivor of the Ohio valley flood that wiped out all i own in a matter of a couple of hours. I don't believe for one minute that it was some kind of punishment. The Ohio river has been flooding for a thousand years and will flood for a thousand more. The same for earthquakes and tsunamis.

Posted by: Jason | Dec 30, 2004 2:38:05 PM

Oh yeah, I'm a Republican to the core and once to the Corp

Posted by: Jason | Dec 30, 2004 8:00:24 PM

I suggest that everyone reads their bibles. We all need to know Jesus Christ before we die. Death can come upon us at anytime just as it did in Asia. I think this is a warning to everybody to turn from our evil ways and return to our Heavenly Father. My heart goes out to every victim and my prays be with the living.

Posted by: Paulette Cardiff | Jan 3, 2005 12:29:04 AM

not to be mean, but america is giving the most amount of money to the tsunami disastor, but they didnt help us at 9/11, and we should be using some of that money for our own problems, like the one in iraq- president Bush should be using some of that money for problems his country is having and for the soldiers over seas. we should donate some money, but not as much as we are. it is a tragety that it happened, but its not our responibility to help clean up that mess and pay for their problems when we have our own that no one donates to!

Posted by: Becky | Jan 3, 2005 7:19:59 PM

not to be mean, but america is giving the most amount of money to the tsunami disastor, but they didnt help us at 9/11, and we should be using some of that money for our own problems, like the one in iraq- president Bush should be using some of that money for problems his country is having and for the soldiers over seas. we should donate some money, but not as much as we are. it is a tragety that it happened, but its not our responibility to help clean up that mess and pay for their problems when we have our own that no one donates to!

Posted by: Becky | Jan 3, 2005 7:20:55 PM

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