Sunday, December 25, 2005

One Year Ago

Disaster Remembrance Week
It was one year ago when we first got word of an incredibly devastating earthquake hitting in South Asia off the coast of Indonesia. Within a few hours, we further learned that the earthquake spawned a huge tsunami that ran across the entire Indian Ocean, killing people from Sudan and India to Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia. More than 270,000 people are presumed to have been killed by the tsunami, which washed away everything in its path.

I had not established this blog at that point, but was blogging the developing situation at Quickly the situation became one of desparation as camera crews, reporters, and videos began making their way out of the disaster zone and onto television screens. It was horribly hypnotic as people didn't quite understand what was happening. Harbors that usually were full of water ebbed so that people could walk out hundreds of yards. And, in an instant, the water came rushing back - in places with waves 30-50 feet high, picking up everything in its path.

In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, the tsunami picked up debris - people - trees - buildings - cars, and carried them all along scouring everything in its path. In Banda Aceh alone, more than 50,000 people were killed in a matter of minutes.

Within hours, the largest relief effort ever attempted was launched. We were talking of destruction over hundreds of thousands of miles of shoreline and some of the nations affected are among the poorest and most ill-equipped to deal with disasters. The US Navy was quickly on station shuttling in supplies and water. Yet, one year later many are still dealing with the fallout from the tsunami.

Since then, I've provided periodic updates on the tsunami victims and recovery. There are other places that have been providing near daily updates, including the South Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog, which is one of the most authoritarian sources for information on the Web. For videos of the tsunami, check out Wizbang's archives.

This week has been declared Disaster Remembrance Week.

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