Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Five Years Since Terrible Indian Ocean Tsunami—People Are Recovering

It has been nearly five years since the terrible Indian Ocean tsunami killed at least 200,000 people in Asian-Pacific nations. There were deaths in Africa as well.

The tsunami took place on December 26, 2004.

(Above—The 2004 tsunami on the move in Ao Nang, Thailand.)

Here is an explanation of what causes tsunamis and how they do their damage.

In early 2005, National Geographic.com said the following about this tsunami—

“The earthquake that generated the great Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey”

Here is the link to the BBC special report on the tsunami. Article featured here discuss the impact of the tsunami all the up to 2008.

Here is a country-by-country report on the loss of life. More than 130,000 people were killed in Indonesia and at least 31,000 dies in Sri Lanka.

In addition to the dead, many people lost their homes in this disaster.

Habitat for Humanity has been active in helping people rebuild.

Reuters reports that many in Thailand are still suffering today from the tsunami.

From the Reuters article—

“Ban Nam Khem, a small fishing village on Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast, lost nearly half its 5,000 people. Today it is a shell of its former self despite an outpouring of aid in one of the largest foreign fund-raising exercises in history…Its once-thriving center of dense waterfront stores, restaurants and wooden homes is gone, replaced with souvenir shops, a wave-shaped monument and a small building filled with photographs of the tsunami recovery effort….”So many people here are still looking for their family,” said Suvadee, a slight, 43-year-old woman with an easy smile and weathered hands that clutched worn photographs of her son.”

The Voice of America reports on how life has improved since the disaster struck for many who survived the tsunami.

Rarely are we so down-and-out that some improvement in our condition is not possible.

In the United States, the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration has been bolstering tsunami early-warning systems.

From NOAA–

In December 2004, lack of an effective international warning system contributed to unprecedented loss of life when a tsunami devastated countless communities around the Indian Ocean and stunned the rest of the world. Through NOAA, the United States accelerated preparation for a potential tsunami along the U.S. coastline and efforts to build partnerships for an international warning program. According to NOAA tsunami experts, the key to surviving a destructive tsunami is people’s ability to receive warnings and willingness to act quickly to move inland or to higher ground.”

I am glad that in addition to making U.S. coastal areas more secure, that we have working to help other nations deal with the threat of tidal waves.

Terrible disasters in the world come and go and we forget about them once they are out of the news.

It is easy to forget. I’m guilty of forgetting myself.

If we forget, we will lose sight of the things we can do in the future to save lives as detailed by NOAA as they prepare for the next tsunami.

If we forget, we will lose sight of the fact that things can get better even after they have been as bad as it possibly seemed they could get.

(Below–Folks in-front of a Habitat for Humanity built home in the tsunami zone in Indonesia.)

December 18, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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