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Earthquakes and tsunami


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To Pan and others,

re: relief agencies in India, in addition to the others mentioned, Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Haora, West Bengal is the address of a very well-reputed and completely non-sectarian group with more than a century's record of superb relief work on the ground. They have a major presence in Chennai [i.e. many capable, willing hands], one of the worst-affected areas in India. They also run a large orphanage in Chennai, and i am sure that that facility will soon need every penny it can get.

In spite of being a religious organization, they are absolutely non-sectarian and very honest with relief funds. I do not belong to this group and actually have major differences of opinion, so i hope that my emphatic recommendation has some added value for this reason alone.

One US Branch in NYC is :The Vedanta Center,

34 West 71 St Street

NY 10023

phone: 212-877-9197; 212-873-4738

The senior monk, Swami Tathagatananda, was in charge of the Chennai orphanage before coming to the US, and will be able to directly answer your questions.

p.s i believe that The Vedanta Center is a 501c US non-profit, so that your donations are fully tax deductible; please check, i'm not sure. I am sure that all monies go 100% into relief, no overheads whatsoever.

p.p.s For Sri Lanka,

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Bhavana Society

Rt. 1, Box 218-3

High View, WV 26808 USA

Tel: 304-856-3241 Fax: 304-856-2111

Email: info@bhavanasociety.org

Office Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday, Friday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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My sister and I are still waiting to hear from a friend who is vacationing in Phuket, at my sister's recommendation. We are hoping he will get in touch with his family through the Embassy.

I can't imagine if she had been able to go through with her travel plans and join him for the New Year.

It puts real perspective on our worries here about the perfect bottle of wine or getting that reservation at Per Se.

Edited by hillvalley (log)

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Another frequent contributor and e-Gullet cooking school teacher was planning a holiday in the south of Thailand, with Krabi as the starting point.  Anyone know if she's OK, or if she is even there at this time (I don't think she mentioned exactly when she was going)?

That's me you're thinking of right? And we weren't planning to leave until late January, so I'm ok, thanks. We're not sure what we're going to do now.

We spent Sunday morning calling friends and relatives from AP to S'pore, my heart is in my throat from such horror. The scientist in me is more worried about what is going to happen in the aftermath in terms of sanitation and disease....it has the potential to be more devastating to the region then the actual tsunami.

I appreciate the links to good places to donate money, a little of ours can go a long way in most of these places and it is sorely needed. I wish I had more information on reputable SE Asian orgs but I don't.

regards,

trillium

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I've been TV and (mostly) PC off for the past few days, so it's pretty appalling to read all of this. Literally, earlier today was the first I heard about it.

It's not just the immediate cost in human lives, as incredibly awful as that is. Seems to me, if we take this back to the kinds of things this board usually analyzes, that not only will there be immediate issues with food distribution, but also long term effects--in terms of crops along coastlines, fishing, etc. Even inland crop areas seem to be threatened by flooding. Add to that the long-term effects of disease not only on the human population, but the animal population, and this is seeming almost biblical.

Has anyone spotted any good analysis' out there on these long-term effects? The ecosystems of that area have to be pretty much kaput.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I know that the Red Cross takes a lot of body hits, but they are already on the move, and we were sure that our money will get there, as they do have resources. I will definitely look into the others posted, and rest assured, I am willing and able to aid. Bruce and I spoke this evening of selling off some cattle and sending that. These are the only times I wish for a larger bank account.

I too am very concerned about the sanitation and aftermath. The worst thing I've heard so far is that there's an indeterminate number of folks who were scuba diving who are not accounted. May everyone not suffer, is all I can pray. :sad:

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I've been TV and (mostly) PC off for the past few days, so it's pretty appalling to read all of this.  Literally, earlier today was the first I heard about it.

It's not just the immediate cost in human lives, as incredibly awful as that is.  Seems to me, if we take this back to the kinds of things this board usually analyzes, that not only will there be immediate issues with food distribution, but also long term effects--in terms of crops along coastlines, fishing, etc.  Even inland crop areas seem to be threatened by flooding.  Add to that the long-term effects of disease not only on the human population, but the animal population, and this is seeming almost biblical.

Has anyone spotted any good analysis' out there on these long-term effects?  The ecosystems of that area have to be pretty much kaput.

Added to that Jon, I read that the force of the quake has caused the earth itself to shift somewhat. What long term effects will that have on seasons, weather, the ability to grow crops who are so weather dependent? I fear this is just the beginning of long term effects. I don't think there's been any analysis done yet. that will come in the next few days as people get over the shock and the scientists begin to study this.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Added to that Jon, I read that the force of the quake has caused the earth itself to shift somewhat.  What long term effects will that have on seasons, weather, the ability to grow crops who are so weather dependent?  I fear this is just the beginning of long term effects.  I don't think there's been any analysis done yet.  that will come in the next few days as people get over the shock and the scientists begin to study this.

Geez. For a moment I thought you were kidding. But no... (click)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I keep thinking of the right words to say and so have been waiting to post. I am not sure there are any right words anymore. This is more than terrifying. I have never seen such devastation in my life. I hope that aid gets there in time so as to stop the spread of any illness. It is so very terrible

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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For those of us in North America, another vehicle for assisting in relief efforts is the Mennonite Central Committee. They partner with local agencies throughout the region ongoingly, and have established an early response page here. MCC runs on a very lean budget and a very high percentage of volunteers (I've been an MCC volunteer in the past).

For those of you who can spare the time, and who have applicable skills, MCC agency Mennonite Disaster Services usually co-ordinates teams of volunteers to go into affected areas to assist in cleanup and reconstruction.

Note that although MCC is a Christian-run organization, they regularly partner with non-Christian groups and agencies, and consider strong relationships between faiths to be part of their mandate. They also operate North America's largest fair-trade retailer, Ten Thousand Villages.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Like Monica, I've been having problems finding the right words. Reading the accounts bring tears to my eyes. It is truly tragic. And yet, the way the everyone has rushed to the aid of the stricken gives me hope.

Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I thought this was the worst natural disaster in my lifetime, but there was a typhoon in Bangladesh on my birthday in 1991 that killed nearly 140,000 people.

Natural disasters

According to this chart, there was a flood in China when I was two months old that killed two million people.

In my lifetime (from the first link):

• China, 1960: Famine (20 million dead)

• North Peru, 1970: 7.8 earthquake (66,000 dead)

• Bangladesh, 1970: Sea flood (200,000 dead)

• Vietnam, 1971: Red River flood (100,000 dead)

• Ethiopia, 1974: famine (200,000 dead)

• Tangshan, China, 1976: 8.0 earthquake (255,000 dead)

• Ethiopia, 1984: Famine (900,000 dead)

• Armenia, 1988: earthquake (55,000 dead)

• North Korea, 1995-98: Famine and floods (3.5 million dead)

Famines, floods, and droughts are the biggest killers, into the millions and millions.

I think part of the nature of the horror of this tsunami is twofold.

First, it's so immediate, due to the pervasiveness of the media. Travelers everywhere are miniature broadcast centers, with cell phones and digital cameras, stationed all over the world. Many of these other locations are not tourist destinations, and are not swarming with such well-equipped, well-heeled people.

Second, the thought of 500-mph walls of water that swat thousands of miles of coastlines covered in sunbathers and children, fishermen and villagers…these are very visceral images, and I am sure I am not alone in being sickened, in heart and mind, at their impact.

My daughter gave me some money (a day's pay) to send to India...she asked how I knew the agency would be reputable. I endorsed you to her, Mongo: you are a good ambassador for India.

I am also going to give some money to Sri Lanka, as I have a friend from there, and (food related) I have a number of boxes of tea from there, and it's the best tea I've ever had.

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For what it's worth ... reports of a perturbation to earth's rotation are strictly speculative right now. Our instrumentation (and theory) are refined enough to measure microscopic deviations in the motion of our planet, and a few scientists have calculated that the rotational period of the earth might be affected by a few microseconds. This is a negligible effect and of concern only to academics. Really.

The flooding and inundation didn't have an appreciable affect on agriculture because crops aren't grown in any serious abundance close to the shoreline.

The bigger concern is the outbreak of disease like typhus and cholera if sanitation and potable water aren't restored quickly. And dead bodies properly disposed of.

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That Times of London article blows my mind; one good thing to read in it, though, was that there seems to have been a vertical shift in the Earth's plates, meaning that islands would have risen, instead of fallen into, the water.

We're thinking about our friends in Chennai, as well as the rest of SE Asia and Africa. It seems that the number of dead keeps rising in Penang, Malaysia, so we're thinking about them, too.

And, there was a note a couple days ago in the NY Daily News that the earthquake registered in a Columbia University underground sensor in Central Park. :shock:

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Second, the thought of 500-mph walls of water that swat thousands of miles of coastlines covered in sunbathers and children, fishermen and villagers…these are very visceral images, and I am sure I am not alone in being sickened, in heart and mind, at their impact.

In actuality the waves do not hit the coasts at 500-600Mph. This is a misconception. The energy released from the earthquake creates a siesmic pressure wave that is transmitted thru the ocean at 500MPH, but the wave crests are very small and you cant even feel them as they pass under you if you are on a boat in the ocean. That energy is released in physical form when it gets to its destination at the coastal shoreline as a tsunami and of course there is some energy loss -- the speed diminishes to a fraction of what it was, but the wave height increases dramatically. So in actuality those waves only hit the shorelines at 30 or 40 miles per hour. Still, extremely destructive because of the sheer force of such tall walls of water hitting you.

Historically tsunami waves have gotten as tall as almost 1700 feet high but that is extremely rare. The tallest tsunami ever recorded was at Lituya Bay, Alaska on July 7th, 1958 -- 1638 foot tall waves that were caused by a huge ice/rock fall. The ones that hit Southeast Asia were between 20 and 30 feet high because of the distance the wave had to travel and how deep in the ocean the earthquake originated in.

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2004/d...041227top5.html

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I can vouch for chromedome's Menonnites. They are truly a wonderful and needed organization. When my first husband was injured in Vietnam, they were the agency far more helpful to a young mother with three kids who was scared into a nearly catatonic state.

I feel that the shaking up of the Pacific Rim will have very dire consequences for years to come. Lately I've done a lot of studying about the Western Pacific coast volcanoes and am real concerned about Yellowstone going off her feed, so to speak, for it's reckoned to be the biggest activity area of which we've knowledge. I wonder what Mt. St. Helens sitting around simmering all these last months has to do with this extreme pressure blowoff?

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So in actuality those waves only hit the shorelines at 30 or 40 miles per hour. Still, extremely destructive.

At 30 or 40 mph, it is realistic for some of the smaller nations there to have a warning system? I understand Australia has one, and some Pacific rim countries, but none surrounding the Indian Ocean.

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Melkor, our MIA forum host vacationing in Thailand and Cambodia has now checked in with the start of his Southeast Asia foodblog:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=58326&hl=

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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This mornings papers say that 1 in 3 dead is a child. Fresh water wells have been filled by seawater. Local newspapers are a mosaic of tragedy. People are washing up miles away from their home.

A blow to anthropology is that the indegineous protected tribes of the Nicobar Islands are feared to have been dealt a death blow if not wiped out.

Sri Lanka reports that Land mines have been pulled out by the tsunamis and there is no way to find out where they have been depositted.

Aid is getting there, Tons of food water and blankets have been airlifted in but it's not enough. The hygiene and sanitation is beginning to be an issue.

I have no words to express my feeling, I just read the papers, watch the news and pray.

Rushina

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