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 Post subject: Asian Quake and Tsunami
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:04 pm 
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Asian Quake Was Colossal, Say British Scientists
By Scottish Press Association Reporters
Mon 27 Dec 2004

The colossal scale of the earthquake which devastated much of southern Asia was today indicated by new calculations from British scientists.

It was more powerful that all the world’s earthquakes of the past five years put together, scientists said.

It is now also known that the earthquake had three distinct phases, each only a matter of seconds apart, said Dr Roger Musson, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh.

He said the quake took place along a 750-mile line where two giant tectonic plates, the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate, came together – the Indian plate dipping below and overlapping with the Eurasian plane.

The quake took place in three phases, starting in the south and moving north, as the two plates came closer together by 60 feet.

“We know have some more information and there were three events merged together,” said Dr Musson, “The first was off the coast of northern Sumatra, and this was the smallest break.

“That brought down the next section along to the north, at about the Nicobar islands, and then the Andaman islands.

“The total length of this is 750 miles, which is really massive,” said Dr Musson.

“The Indian plate is continually moving to the north the whole time, at the rate of several inches a year.

“Because it is colliding with something else, it can’t continue to move smoothly so the force builds up and up.

And he said: “If you take the energy from all the earthquakes in the world over the past five years, it would be less than what was released in one go yesterday morning.

“It really is something incredibly big.”

Earlier, another British Geological Survey expert Dr David Booth told how the quake generated the tsunami.

“Not all earthquakes will do this,” he said.

“First of all the earthquake has got to curve underwater in the ground under the ocean and also the movement of the rock has got to reach the surface.

“Where there is a displacement of the ocean floor it causes a movement on the surface and it spreads out from there at a speed of about 300 miles an hour.

“It’s fast, but slow enough for warning to be given, if a sophisticated warning system is set up.”

Dr Booth said he was aware of a warning system in the Pacific but that he was not aware of a warning system being set up around the Indian Ocean where the colossal earthquake was born.

“This wave may only be a few feet high in the ocean but as it reaches shallow water the wave builds up very quickly in height and these waves can reportedly be 170 feet high.”

He said there had been “one or two” small tidal waves this year, but “nothing like the scale” of the Asia one.

He went on: “It is a long, long time since there has been anything quite as devastating.”

Dr Booth explained: “The ocean floor is being pushed under the continent and enormous stresses build up and because the length of the fault is very long you have the potential for a very large earthquake as the whole fault moves as one.”

Just after 1am yesterday vibrations were picked up by instruments in the UK – about 5,000 miles away.

“Our instruments have recorded the tremor here. In fact this is the largest we have seen with regards to displacement in instruments.

“The waves generated from the tsunami would have travelled all around the world.”

This article is from: Scotsman.com News

See also: Tsunami horror hits home

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 Post subject: Diseases Threaten Tsunami Victims, Health Experts Warn
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:11 pm 
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By Heda Bayron
Hong Kong
28 December 2004
VOA News

As the death toll in Sunday's tsunamis continues to rise, health authorities are struggling to prevent the outbreak of diseases in the worst affected areas. The disaster hit poor countries whose health systems are inadequate to deal with the scale of the disaster, which may have killed nearly 40,000 people.

Authorities in at least 10 Indian Ocean countries are scrambling to dispose of thousands of dead bodies left after walls of water slammed into coastal areas Sunday.

Health experts say the decomposing bodies of humans could contaminate drinking water. Thousands of displaced people are crammed in makeshift camps where poor sanitation could bring about a variety of illnesses.

Continued here...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:07 pm 
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Asia Quake Gives Globe a Jolt
AFP | Discovery Channel News

Dec. 28, 2004 — The gigantic Asian sea quake, the most dramatic seismic shock in more than 40 years, made the earth wobble on its axis and permanently changed the geology of the surrounding area, scientists said Tuesday.

It was like "flicking a top," said Paul Tapponnier, head of the tectonics laboratory at the Institut de Physique du Globe, France's leading center for Earth sciences.

Tapponnier said the quake deep beneath the Pacific Ocean lasted a "colossal" 200 seconds, building up huge amounts of energy in the sea that drove towering waves onto beaches throughout southern Asia.

"That earthquake has changed the map," U.S. Geological Survey expert Ken Hudnut told AFP in Los Angeles.

The quake, which had an epicenter magnitude of 9.0, struck 250 kilometers (155 miles) southeast of Sumatra.

One of the four biggest in the last century, it sent gigantic tsunami waves crashing around the Indian Ocean, causing 55,000 deaths and leaving thousands of other people missing.

Hudnut said seismic modeling suggested the quake may have moved small islands by as much as 20 meters (66 feet), and the northwestern tip of the Indonesian territory of Sumatra may also have shifted to the southwest by around 36 meters (118 feet).

"That is a lot of slip," he said.

Continued here...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:24 pm 
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Where are all the dead animals? Sri Lanka asks
Reuters AlertNet | 29 Dec 2004 07:21:00 GMT

COLOMBO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned -- the worst tsunami in memory has killed around 22,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast, but they can't find any dead animals.

Giant waves washed floodwaters up to 3 km (2 miles) inland at Yala National Park in the ravaged southeast, Sri Lanka's biggest wildlife reserve and home to hundreds of wild elephants and several leopards.

"The strange thing is we haven't recorded any dead animals," H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the national Wildlife Department, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit," he added. "I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening."

At least 40 tourists, including nine Japanese, were drowned.

The tsunami was triggered by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, which sent waves up to 5-metres (15-feet) high crashing onto Sri Lanka's southern, eastern and northern seaboard, flooding whole towns and villages, destroying hotels and causing widespread destruction.

The URL for this story is: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/COL136356.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:41 am 
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Fears of damaging Thai tourism may have delayed tidal wave warnings
Yahoo! Asia News | December 28, 2004

Thailand's Meteorological Department may have delayed sounding a tidal wave warning for fear it could damage the country's lucrative tourism industry, officials indicated Tuesday.

Sulamee Prachuab, who heads the department's Seismological Bureau, said the agency needed to be cautious because the government's tourism agency deems that such warnings would hurt tourism if a predicted natural disaster didn't occur.

The department did issue warnings of the impending tidal wave Sunday, but broadcasts beamed to tourist resorts in the country's south underestimated the threat, and a Web site caution was not posted until three hours after the first deluge hit southern Thailand's resorts.

Waves began pummeling Thai beaches and islands about an hour after a massive earthquake occurred in Indonesian waters. The death toll in Thailand Tuesday stood at more than 1,000 and was expected to rise.

"Five years ago, the Meteorological Department issued a warning of a possible tidal wave after an earthquake occurred in Papua New Guinea, but the tourism authority complained that such a warning would hurt tourism," Sumalee said.

Tourism is Thailand's number one foreign income earner, and Thai government officials are extremely sensitive about any news they perceive as damaging the cash cow.

Surapong Suebwonglee, minister of Information and Communication Technology, said a fact-finding committee of independent experts and government officials would be set up early next month to determine whether the Meteorological Department failed to give a timely public warning.

Continued here...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 8:40 pm 
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Asian Quake/Tsunami Disaster Relief Resources

Let the Donor Beware! Tips on Appeals For Relief

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:12 pm 
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A boy named Tsunami By Suresh Seshadri
Yahoo! India News | Sunday January 2, 2005

PORT BLAIR, India (Reuters) - Six-day-old Tsunami Roy doesn't know what all the fuss about him is, as he hungrily suckles at his mother's breast before dropping off for a contented nap.

Sitting in a classroom in the capital of tsunami-ravaged Andaman and Nicobar islands, his 34-year-old father, Lakshmi Narain Roy, recounted on Saturday the dramatic events leading to Tsunami's birth, three weeks ahead of time.

"It was early morning on Sunday, when I made my pregnant wife a cup of tea and woke her up. She was just about to take a sip when we felt the first jolt of the quake. She immediately screamed for me to pick up our sleeping son and rush out."

Roy grabbed his 6-year-old older son and ran out of their home near the coastal settlement of Hut Bay on the Little Andaman island before turning back to see if his wife was following.

"She had fallen down and briefly lost consciousness. But then she heard people screaming 'the water is coming' and managed to crawl out to the street and asked me to put our son on my cycle-rickshaw."

After hoisting his injured wife and son on to the rickshaw Roy pedalled and pushed the rickshaw as fast as he could up and away from the shore towards a nearby rocky slope. There he half-carried and half-pushed his pregnant wife up the last 150 feet or so to a wooded area where many others had fled.

The Roys are amongst the fortunate few who survived Sunday's devastating tsunami that has killed more than 126,000 people in Asia, including more than 8,900 in India.

They spent the next few hours watching the angry water foam over their submerged homes and waiting for a mahout to come and lead away a restless elephant, that was used for logging work and had been tethered to a nearby tree.

"Soon she was complaining of pain in her abdomen and at first I told her it must be due to the fall as the baby was not due till January 15. But as the pain got worse by nightfall, I became frantic and started looking for help, and luckily found a nurse."

Continued here...

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face, and slaps you in the face behind your back."
-Unknown


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