Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The death toll from the tsunami has risen to 76,700 and counting.
They're thinking that the casualties might surpass the 100,000 mark by
the time they're finished tallying. :o(

I almost hate to hit "refresh" on my homepage (yahoo.com), because
every time it updates the numbers, the total has climbed by a few
thousand. And even when the homepage hasn't updated its total,
sometimes clicking on the "News" link will present a list of headlines
including a casualty total that's higher than whatever the Yahoo
homepage is listing at the moment.

One distraught resort owner viewed the ruins of his year-old hotel, and
thought of the casualties among his staff and the guests, and said,
"This is worse than 9/11". I can't argue with the man on that point.
Certainly the devastation is more widespread and the number of victims
far surpasses the horror of what 9/11 brought.

The one aspect of 9/11 that's worse than this calamity is this: 9/11
was caused by people's hatred and malice; it was an act of mass murder.
This tsunami had no evil attached to it. It just WAS, and it bore no
ill-will toward any living creatures that happened to be in its path at
the time. Just as other natural events like hurricanes, tornadoes,
earthquakes, etc have no evil intent... they just ARE. They happen
because they're part of what planets DO. The earth's crust, its
atmosphere, its oceans, all act and react as they've done since the
planet was formed in the first place. And they do so without taking
into account whether living creatures are present at a particular time
and place.

I hope that this is the impetus to set up a tsunami warning system. I
don't think EVERYone could have been saved from this disaster, but
definitely there are people who could have been evacuated if there had
been advance notice that this series of waves was on the way. At the
very least, beaches could have been closed to tourists, and buildings
closest to the water could have been cleared of occupants.

Then we wouldn't have had things happen like I saw in the video online
that I really regret watching. There was a tourist using his video
camera from his hotel room. He filmed a beach full of people, which was
visible from his vantage point. Then a few seconds later, the wave,
looking like a huge wall of water, swept through everything. It came
crashing in and its progress took it WELL beyond the beach area... it
HAD to have hit all those people full-force. There's no way anyone
shown on that tape could have gotten out of the tsunami's path in such
a short time. I can't help but wonder if any of them survived. :o( I
hope at least some of them did.



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1 comment:

PSoTD said...

I appreciate your blog entry, but I think the inclusion of the comment of "evil" in an argument to say that 9/11 was worse in some way is somewhat pointless. That might lead some to think that these deaths were somewhat more acceptable than the 9/11 deaths, because they were from a natural disaster. They were not. In fact, they weren't necessarily even less preventable.

What was worse, the murder of children by their mother in Texas - seen by many as an evil act, or the earthquake/tsunami?