[www-features] PROPOSAL: Deaths rise in Earthquake and Tsunami Tragedy

takver tirin at takver.com
Tue Dec 28 19:52:07 PST 2004

I'm not sure what to do with the early report (27 Dec) from Jakarta 
IMC. Estimates of the numbers of dead have really changed from 15,000 
on the 27th, 20-30,000 28 Dec, to nearly 60,000 on 29 dec. With a large 
number of missing persons, many of which will be assumed dead, I think 
the total deaths from the earthquake and tsunamis will exceed 100,000. 
There are likely to be thousands of deaths now arising from poor health 
conditions at risk of disease, depending upon how rapidly western 
nations respond in immediate assistance and rebuilding the 
infrastructure destroyed.

I tried to use IMC links where possible, then collaborative sources 
such as wikipedia, and UN and disaster relief reports to supplement the 
feature. I think this feature summarises the story to date.

Melbourne IMC

Image: http://www.jakartaresistance.net/attachments/dec2004/acehii.jpg
Asia: Natural Disaster
Deaths rise in Earthquake and Tsunami Tragedy 

----------- ABSTRACT -----------------------------

On December 26 an underwater earthquake, later measured at 9.0 on the 
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_magnitude_scale">Moment 
Magnitude scale</a>, occurred off the coast of Aceh on the island of 
Sumatra, in the Indonesian Archipelago. The resulting <a 
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami">tsunamis</a> have killed 
tens of thousands, with many more people missing, feared to be washed 
out to sea and drowned. The final death toll, taking into account 
missing persons, is likely to exceed 100,000 with up to two million 
people displaced and made homeless. (See Wikipedia article on <a 
nd_casualties">Damages and casualties</a>)
Much of the affected coastal regions in <a 
href="http://www.jakartaresistance.net/tsunami.php">Indonesia (id)</a> 
(<a href="http://www.jakartaresistance.net/newswire.php?
story_id=48">Photos</a> from Aceh), Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma) 
9/3a79f0bd31037b4785256f78005c20c8?OpenDocument">UNICEF report</a>), 
Sri Lanka (<a 
F report</a>), 
India (<a 
F report</a>),
 <a href="http://perth.indymedia.org/?
and as far away as the coast of Africa, have poor communications and 
infrastructure which have hampered a full assessment of the disaster 
and immediate disaster relief. 
According to UNICEF <a 
ren account for one third of tsunami dead</a>. The UN Population fund 
warns that <a 
href="http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2004/pop911.doc.htm">women and 
girls are especially vulnerable</a> to the "second wave" of the 
disaster as millions of people face health risks due to contamination 
of drinking water, and devastation of health infrastructure.

IMC Stories: <a 
Barcelona IMC (es)</a> | Italy IMC report <a 
<a href="http://italy.indymedia.org/news/2004/12/699707.php">2</a> (it)
<a href="http://italy.indymedia.org/news/2004/12/699686.php">Audio (it)
<a href="http://www.jakartaresistance.net/tsunami.php">Jakarta IMC (id)
ne IMC (en)</a>
Links: <a 
d Health Organisation</a> | 
+Dec+2004&ExpandView">Relief Web latest News</a> | 
ia</a> | 
<a href="http://tsunamiupdates.blogspot.com/">Tsunami News Updates</a>

---------- BODY ----------------------

Estimates of the numbers of dead have been revised upwards from 15,000 
24 hours later on the 27th December, 20-30,000 48 hours later, to 
nearly 60,000 on 29 December. With a large number of missing persons, 
many of which will be assumed dead, the total deaths from the 
earthquake and tsunamis may exceed 100,000. 
There are likely to be thousands of deaths now arising from poor health 
conditions at risk of disease, depending upon how rapidly Western 
Nations and Non Government Aid and Development Organisations respond in 
immediate assistance and rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed.
Although within days, many western nations had pledged medical and 
material assistance and financial aid, a United Nations official has 
criticised the limited amount of Government assistance offered.
United Nations Under-secretary General, Jan Egeland, who is also the UN 
humanitarian chief, said the UN appeal for the devastated countries may 
become the largest ever because of the wide swath of destruction.
"I think this may be the biggest natural disaster ever," Egeland told 
BBC radio, adding that the damage was "beyond comprehension."
"A tsunami of this size happens once in a generation only. The 
population explosion around the Indian Ocean has led to many, many more 
people being exposed. The first wave of destruction has caused tens of 
thousands of deaths, but the second wave of misery is really caused now 
by the water and sanitation systems," he told the BBC.
According to the <a 
">Calcutta Telegraph</a>, Jan Egeland accused America of being "stingy" 
in its initial response to the natural disaster, a $15 million aid 
"We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the rich 
countries," Egeland, a Norwegian, said. "And it is beyond me, why are 
we so stingy, really. Even Christmas time should remind many western 
countries at least how rich we have become."
The aid package came in for attack by others including Rev. Al 
Sharpton, an American black leader and a 2004 Democratic presidential 
The <a href="http://www.ifrc.org/index.asp">International Federation of 
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies</a> is <a 
href="http://www.ifrc.org/docs/news/pr04/8904.asp">appealing for more 
than 50 million Swiss francs</a> to support its largest emergency 
operation in decades, the agency said on the 28 December. An <a 
href="http://www.ifrc.org/docs/news/pr04/8804.asp">initial appeal</a> 
for 7.5 million francs was met within 12 hours. Other Aid agencies such 
as <a 
UK</a> have also called for donations from the public. (<a 
cepting_on-line_donations_for_relief_efforts">Sites accepting on-line 

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