This is a terrible tragedy.
There is so much that can be said about this.
Firstly, if the Government had received a warning about the tsunami, they would be in a precarious position. As they are a country which heavily relies on tourism for economic stability, they would be averse to falsely warning their employers (tourists on the beach), and hence initiating a panic.
The other side of the coin is that by not warning anyone, they left thousands of people to die who could have taken some action.
Duke, the tsunami did take place during the day. Even though many of the villages were uncontactable to provide warning, much of the infrastructure on the main cities were well equipped with a working phones throughout the hotels and main industries.
The weigh up was between loss of profits and loss of life. It’s a dreadful thought considering the action taken…
Here is a quote from a yahoo news post dated 26th December:
In Los Angeles, the head of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said U.S. officials who detected the undersea quake tried frantically to get a warning out about the tsunami.
But there was no official alert system in the region, said Charles McCreery, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s center in Honolulu.
“It took an hour and a half for the wave to get from the earthquake to Sri Lanka and an hour for it to get … to the west coast of Thailand and Malaysia,” he said. “You can walk inland for 15 minutes to get to a safe area.”
“We tried to do what we could,” he said. “We don’t have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world.”
The earthquake, of magnitude 8.9 as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites), struck at 7:59 a.m. (1959 EST). It was the world’s biggest since 1964, said Julie Martinez at the USGS (news - web sites).
My dad has volunteered as a doctor. He’s also a major in the Australian Army so they might ask him to go.
The Australian Governement is paying all expenses of any Australian volunteering to go there and help with the relief effort.
A bunch of Aussie churches I know of are funding a group to go over there. They are currently building a house a day for the Thai’s. I know its not much but at least we know that every bit is getting to the people.
I’m thinking of seeing what I can do to help. Is there anything that RSR can do for them? I think this post is a great start.
Another disturbing point on this topic is the number of children going missing from refugee camps due to suspected child traffickers and peodophiles.
What can we do?