Tag Archive: Tsunami

Dec 26 2014

Christmas Earthquake & Tsunami Remembered

On December 26, 2004 at 00:58:53 UTC an 9.3 earthquake deep in the Indian Ocean centered just off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, triggered a massive tsumani that wiped out the coast line of that island and effected 14 other nations in Southeast Asia and Africa. It is estimated to have killed over 250,000 people but the real death toll will never be truly known. It was still Christmas in New York City, when word started trickling in about the devastation.

Ten years later, much of Indonesia and the region has bounced back but for many the scars still remain and they still mourn.

People across Southeast Asia gathered along the shores of the Indian Ocean on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating tsunami of 2004.

One of the deadliest natural disasters in modern history, it killed 230,000 people and displaced millions in 12 countries.

Services were held to remember the dead in countries including Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. Moments of silence were planned in several locations to mark the exact time the tsunami hit.

“I cannot forget the smell of the air, the water at that time … even after 10 years,” Teuku Ahmad Salman said at a prayer service attended by thousands of people in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Sobbing, the 51-year-old said: “I cannot forget how I lost hold of my wife, my kids, my house.”

He said he refused to believe for years that his family had died, but eventually gave up looking for them.

There are some excellent before and after pictures in this article by Margaret Munro in the National Post:

Huge waves washing boats, vehicles, trees and bodies up streets and hillsides. Desperate parents and families searching for children and relatives who had been swept away. Heart-breaking images of missing tourists, last seen smiling under sunny skies and palm trees.

The Boxing Day tsunami off the Indonesian coast of Sumatra on Dec. 26, 2004 was one of the world’s worst disasters.

A magnitude 9.1 earthquake had unzipped a 1,300-kilometre subduction zone, heaving the sea floor and generating killer waves that took almost a quarter of a million lives (more than 230,000) in 14 countries.

Scientists knew the quake had occurred – it was picked up on seismographs half a world away – and suspected a tsunami was racing across the Indian Ocean. But there was no effective way to warn communities so people could head to higher ground, even though in some regions it took hours for the giant waves to arrive.

Mar 11 2012

Remembering Japan

A Peaceful Journey To The Other Side

Japan Finds Story of Hope in Undertaker Who Offered Calm Amid Disaster

KAMAISHI, Japan – Amid the grief of finding her mother’s body at a makeshift morgue in this tsunami-ravaged city last March, Fumie Arai took comfort in a small but surprising discovery. Unlike the rest of the muddied body, her mother’s face had been carefully wiped clean.

Mrs. Arai did not know at the time, but the act was the work of a retired undertaker well-versed in the ancient Buddhist rituals of preparing the dead for cremation and burial. The undertaker, Atsushi Chiba, a father of five who cared for almost 1,000 bodies in Kamaishi, has now become an unlikely hero in a community trying to heal its wounds a year after the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged much of Japan’s northeastern coast a year ago Sunday.

“I dreaded finding my mother’s body, lying alone on the cold ground among strangers,” Mrs. Arai, 36, said. “When I saw her peaceful, clean face, I knew someone had taken care of her until I arrived. That saved me.”

An small act of kindness in the midst of chaos. Blessed Be

The Wheel Turns

Jun 25 2011

Japan Stupid Is As Stupid Does

With the resignation of Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the horizon the political idiots who run this country are maneuvering to further their political power while Northeast Japan is mired in a recovery so slow that only time-lapsed photography might notice any movement. People left homeless are forced to endure a lottery system to be placed in temporary housing. TEPCO continues to misinform and lie about the health risks posed by the disaster at the Daiichi-Fukushima power plant but what the real condition of the four damaged plants remains a mystery even though they keep insisting there will be completely transparent  

Taking a page from America’s Republican party the Liberal Democratic Party has decided to hold hostage the implementation of a third supplementary budget or an extension of the current Diet session needed to  pass funding for earthquake recovery.  

So, as these fools argue over when Kan will resign and who will fill the power vacuum people in the stricken area continue to suffer from a lack of recovery effort and a complete lack of leadership from any quarter.

Mar 17 2011

A Beautiful Day To Die

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The earthquake and the tsunami and the nuclear event have finally shut me up.  I haven’t been able to write. I don’t have anything clear or witty or insightful or clever or new to say about these events.  I am avoiding the talking heads on TV, and I’m reading as little as possible about the event on the Internet, and I’ve been absent from this blog. Why? Because I have no confidence at all that what I’d hear or read would be the truth. And I have the dreadful thought that the situation in Japan is far, far worse than what we are being told. I have no proof for the last sentence other than the plethora of contradictions I find in the news stories. And a tight feeling in my heart and chest and stomach that warns of impending, large scale disaster. I hope I’m wrong about this, but alas, I don’t think I am.