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kristine
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« on: December 30, 2004, 05:07:12 PM »



Tsunami Death Toll Jumps Over 120,000

by Tomi Soetjipto and Dean Yates
 

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - The death toll in the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster soared above 120,000 on Thursday as millions scrambled for food and fresh water and thousands more fled in panic to high ground on rumors of new waves.

Aid agencies warned many more, from Indonesia to Sri Lanka, could die in epidemics if shattered communications and transport hampered what may prove history's biggest relief operation.

Rescue workers pressed on into isolated villages shattered by a disaster that could yet eclipse a cyclone that struck Bangladesh in 1991, killing 138,000 people.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1230-05.htm
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Tyehimba
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2004, 07:09:32 PM »

NAIROBI, Dec 30 (AFP) -

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday said it had started distributing food to Somali survivors of the deadly tsunami wave that struck the country's Indian Ocean coast at the weekend, as the death toll climbed to 132.

"WFP has started food distributions in the town of Hafun on the northern coast of Somalia," the agency's spokeswoman Laura Melo said in a statement sent to AFP in Nairobi.

"Almost 500 families, surrounded by rubble and destruction, received an emergency ration of rice, maize, vegetable oil and beans, enough to get them through the next couple of days," Melo said.

Some other 100 families in Foar town, 60 kilometres (35 miles) west of the tsunami-devastated Hafun Island, also received food aid, WFP said, explaining that the distributed food is part of 83 tonnes of food stored in Foar.

Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi earlier told AFP in an interview that Nairobi that 132 poeple had died.

"Some 132 people were killed and about 150 others injured," Gedi said.

"There are also more than 50,000 people displaced by the killer wave (and) the most affected region is in the regional administration of Puntland, but the damage was felt all along southern part of Somalia," Gedi said.

Puntland lies in the northeastern part of Somalia, a nation of 10 million people.

Full Article: http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?ID=35480
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Ayinde
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2004, 06:57:07 AM »

The people of Bam, an Iranian town devastated by an earthquake a year ago, know what's ahead for the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami: broken hearts, slow rebuilding and unfulfilled promises of aid. But Bam presents itself as proof of man's capacity to overcome.

Full Article @ guardian.co.uk
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Yann
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2004, 08:17:34 AM »

Scientific Background on the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

Information relating to the submarine earthquake inbetween Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka of the 26th of December, 2004 has been compiled here.  
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kristine
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2004, 09:58:56 AM »

Up to 5 million displaced by tsunami: WHO

Agence France-Presse

Hong Kong, December 30, 2004

Up to five million people have been displaced by the devastating tsunamis that pummelled large tracts of Asia over the weekend, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1175695,00050004.htm
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kristine
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2004, 10:53:11 AM »

What Did the US Know and When Did It Know It?

A Wave of Questions

By MICKEY Z.

How does one comprehend the magnitude, impact, and context of a disaster that may claim more than 100,000 lives? But enough about the U.S. occupation of Iraq...

The recent earthquake/tsunami in Asia raises more questions than answers.

Here's a start:

What's the political context of the disaster?

Reports on the Asian tsunami typically ignore the crucial political back stories in volatile areas like Aceh and Sri Lanka...and how "aid" efforts will be exploited for geo-political gain. Without such context, the coverage is woefully incomplete and irresponsible. Today, Democracy Now did delve deeper into the situation in Aceh...the military repression, the role of Exxon-Mobil, and now the earthquake/tsunami. Do some research and see for yourself.

Is the U.S. stingy?

Even if we were to trust the estimates of $1 billion in aid eventually coming from the U.S., that number pales in comparison to the tens of billions being spent in Iraq to keep the world safe for petroleum. At this writing, the U.S. has spent an average of $9.5 million every hour on the war and occupation of Iraq. In a global sense, the U.S. spends $1 million dollars a minute on war...a percentage of which helps create Third World poverty and the inability to deal with natural disasters.

Why was there no warning?

There was warning. Here's how the folks at Democracy Now describe what happened: "Within minutes of the tsunami forming on Sunday, U.S. officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii began tracking the waves. But the scientists claimed they had no one to contact in the Indian Ocean region about the possible danger. One exception was the British-owned island of Diego Garcia that houses a major US Naval base. The Independent of London reports that U.S. officials in Hawaii did warn Diego Garcia about the possible tsunami and the island suffered no major damage."

Could any of the affected countries done anything?

It might have helped if U.S. scientists in Hawaii hadn't initially calculated the earthquake at a magnitude of 8.0 (ten times weaker than in actuality). "Based on it being an 8.0, we assumed the damage would be confined to Sumatra and would be a local tsunami event," said Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, "one that strikes shore within minutes of the event." But even so, we must never forget that profits outweigh people. An official in Thailand's meteorology department told the Guardian of London, "A proper warning was not given. If we had given the warning and then it hadn't happened, then it would have been the death of tourism in those areas."

Will it happen again? Can it happen here?

As I sit here in New York, with a fault line running across 125th St., I need only remember that 200 million years ago the earth was one gigantic continent.

Where does this disaster rank for that area?

The continent of Asia is no stranger to natural events like this. A 1942 hurricane in Bengal, India killed 40,000. A 1970 cyclone Bangladesh claimed 300,000 lives. Going back to 1556, 830,000 died in an earthquake in Shaanxi, China. August 1931 saw China's Huang He River flood and kill 3,700,000.

As for man-made disasters, Hurricane Lyndon helped kill 1,000,000 or so in Indonesia in 1965. Hurricanes Ike, Jack, Lyndon, and Dick wrecked havoc throughout Southeast Asia for decades...with millions upon millions dead. We can't forget Hurricanes Gerald and Jimmy...responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in East Timor in the late 70s. The list goes on and on.

How can I help?

If you're trying to figure out a way to help but do not want your dollars sucked into a huge bureaucracy, you can help the Indonesian area of Aceh via the East Timor Action Network.  

Another way to help (in a more abstract manner) is to see past the corporate media coverage of the tragedy and educate yourself on the deeper issues. The more we know about the world, the harder it is to fool us. Donate at the link given above. Donate...then educate, agitate, and demonstrate.

Here in the U.S., we can't honestly say we haven't been warned...

http://www.counterpunch.org/mickey12292004.html
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Yann
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2004, 12:42:39 PM »

Global analysts dispute perceived US generosity

By Charles M. Sennott, Globe Staff

December 31, 2004

LONDON -- The US government is contributing $35 million of the half-billion dollars that the world's developed nations are donating to the tsunami relief effort, and many Americans believe -- as President Bush put it earlier this week -- that their country is being its typical ''generous, kindhearted" self.

But both on a per capita basis and as a percentage of the nation's wealth, America's emergency relief in Asia and development aid to poor countries actually ranks at the bottom of the list of developed nations, some of the world's top economists and analysts of international development aid said yesterday.

The world's Asian relief effort -- the largest in history -- and the enormity of the disaster have put into sharp focus an intensifying debate over what it means for a country to be generous: how much should wealthy nations pledge for relief from natural disasters, and how much should those governments donate for development in poorer nations?

As of yesterday, the amount the United States has pledged is eclipsed by the $96 million promised by Britain, a country with one-fifth the population, and by the $75 million vowed by Sweden, which amounts to $8.40 for each of its 9 million people. Denmark's pledge of $15.6 million amounts to roughly $2.90 per capita.

The US donation is 12 cents per capita. Full Article
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Yann
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2004, 01:24:22 PM »

U.S. Boosts Tsunami Aid Tenfold to $350M

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer


CRAWFORD, Texas - The United States is pledging $350 million to help tsunami victims, a tenfold increase over its first wave of aid, President Bush (news - web sites) announced Friday. Full Article
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Tyehimba
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2004, 06:12:19 PM »

Two U.S. Navy battle groups loaded with supplies headed for tsunami-ravaged coasts Friday and an airlift of dozens of flights brought help to this wrecked Indonesian city, 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.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4703697,00.html
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