Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Earthquakes and tsunami


Recommended Posts

What's a bit sad are the articles talking about some individual westerner or other who was killed, or is missing, which breeze over the tens of thousands of other deaths. I know people need symbols to make a story seem relevant to their lives, but man that really rubs me the wrong way.

The current estimate is 58,000+, and you have to figure the toll of disease is going to make that much worse, assuming that's counted in whatever figures eventually get published.

Melkor's blog will be especially interesting, because, I admit, it will be interesting, even if a bit morbid, to see if life goes on as usual a mere few hundred miles away from all of this. I'm actually betting it will, but we'll see.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Yes, it was you :smile: . Glad to know you weren't there at the time, though I still grieve for all those who were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's a bit sad are the articles talking about some individual westerner or other who was killed, or is missing, which breeze over the tens of thousands of other deaths.  I know people need symbols to make a story seem relevant to their lives, but man that really rubs me the wrong way.

The Brits are reporting Brits, Canadians report Canadians; That's just the way it is. These are people with whom we can identify.

I live in Bangkok part of the year. Very few westerners can identify with middle class Thais, let alone the poor. The "sweatshop" hysteria testifies to that!

Now, when the supermodel and her boyfriend are a top story, and Khun Phum, Thailand's King's grandson isn't, that a rub!

Melkor's blog will be especially interesting, because, I admit, it will be interesting, even if a bit morbid, to see if life goes on as usual a mere few hundred miles away from all of this.  I'm actually betting it will, but we'll see.

We talk with family, daily.

Right now, Thai broadcasting has curtailed "entertainment" programming; they are covering the situation.

Official New Years celebrations have been canceled in Thailand.

Life goes on, but there is very little "normal" in Thailand right now.

For Bangkok eats, check out my Cheap Eats Bangkok

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

That's correct: There is a tsunami warning system in the Pacific (headquartered in Hawaii) but not in the Indian Ocean. Yes, it would be realistic for there to be a warning system in the Indian Ocean, but there is an understandable reason why the countries in the region weren't part of the tsunami warning system: Tsunamis are so rare in the Indian Ocean that the last time there was one was in the aftermath of the tremendous eruption that blew up something like 2/3 of the island of Krakatau in 1883 and led to a period of global cooling from all the soot in the air. And when you consider the way that countries in the region are regularly beset by cyclones and flooding, you can understand why there was no thought given to paying whatever it would cost to maintain a system of buoys to predict a tsunami. I'd add that, for similar reasons, there is no warning system for tsunamis in the Atlantic Ocean.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]

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. [...]

That sounds really weird to me. Can you provide a more detailed documentation of that, applicable to all the affected countries? I mean, it may be that most of the agriculture in India is on the Deccan Plain, but what of countries like Bangladesh that are mostly near the coastline or large estuaries, period, or countries like Burma, Thailand and Malaysia where agriculture is mostly near the coast or on river valleys (many of which, however, are on the South China Sea side in the latter two cases)? One thing I haven't read about is the degree to which the tsunami waves entered and affected estuaries.

I also want to emphasize the comments about water contamination. Right now, that's a severe problem, and the combination of salt intrusion and contamination because of dead bodies and poor sanitation is likely to remain a really serious problem for some time -- probably the salt contamination of the water table, in particular, which renders water undrinkable and makes land unfarmable.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's a bit sad are the articles talking about some individual westerner or other who was killed, or is missing, which breeze over the tens of thousands of other deaths.  I know people need symbols to make a story seem relevant to their lives, but man that really rubs me the wrong way.

The Brits are reporting Brits, Canadians report Canadians; That's just the way it is. These are people with whom we can identify.

It's just human to immediately think, "I wonder if it could possibly have affected anyone I know?"

So, when any large tragedy hits, the reporters begin with the larger numbers, and then focus on the impact closer to home, increasing emphasis with the lessening distance.

Therefore, wherever one was living during the Twin Towers nightmare, the coverage went: "And so many people were killed overall....including so many from our country...so many from our state...so many from our town...and your dear friend and neighbor."

I don't see anything wrong with it. That's just how it is.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just got this and thought you all may want to see it too --

Members and friends of the Asia Society Washington Center:

The Asia Society expresses condolences to the families of those who

were lost in the tragic natural disaster that struck Asia on December 26,

2004. This catastrophe, which knows no borders, continues to claim

lives along the coasts of India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Indonesia,

Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Somalia. We are extremely concerned for the

welfare of the thousands of injured and homeless who are currently at

risk for disease due to contaminated water and other factors.

To the scores of people who have been contacting Asia Society wanting

to know what they can do to help, we encourage you to make a donation

through one of the relief organizations that are dispatching emergency

and first-aid staff to the affected areas.

We extend sincere condolences and grave concern to all the people of

the region at this time of suffering.

There is a special report on the disaster on the main Asia Society

website, www.asiasociety.org, including links to relief groups helping the

victims of the tsunami.

Regards,

Joe Snyder

Executive Director

Asia Society Washington Center

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

From what I understand, the fault line occurs where the indian plate and the eurasian plate collides.(indonesia).

like this ___----, the indian plate slipped underneth the eurasian plate causing the earthquake. the after shock of the earthquake, which occured on an island surrounded by water, radiated *outwards*(no barriers over the open waters) into the sea giving rise to the tsunami. can you explain how the 'vertical shift' is a good thing?

Edited by FaustianBargain (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to some of the reports I've seen, Doctors Without Borders is a charitable organization that is involved, and could also use assistance.

I've been sans computer for a few days here, and CNN is the only info I could get. The only term I can think of to describe this is "Biblical proportions". This is going to affect generations.

But in the meantime, sanitary conditions are going to get dire very very quickly. CNN reported an outbreak of chicken pox in some of the evacuation centers. Open sores in that environment are the worst possible things at the worst possible moment.

Add my prayers to those of many others.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me second Doctor's Without Borders for those who wish to donate without attachment to any particular ethnic, religious or national group. Their web site has apparently been overwhelmed, which perhaps brings some small joy in relation to the power of the net, but they are taking credit card donations at 1.888.392.0392 in the U.S.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I checked, you could get through to the donate page for DSF/DWB through a secure server very easily. Here is a direct link to the donation page. Just for good measure, here's the Oxfam Asian earthquake donation site.

Everyone please remember that even a small amount to most of us (USD$, €uro, or £ pound) can go a long way in all of the countries that have been hit. I don't want to sound preachy or self-righteous, but really, the amount you spend for your cups of coffee (or tea) for the week has the potential to make a big difference. And on a more practical note, you can print off a receipt for tax deductions from most of the sites, that's not something you can do at the coffeeshop.

regards,

trillium

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will be donating this evening to Doctors without borders this evening, given the scores of injured they will be needing all the medical aid they can get.

Having grown up in M'sia and overall familiarity with the regions affected, this tragedy is indeed near and dear to me and have decided to forgo any luxuries in the near term and donate my excess $ instead.

Seems like these large natural disasters always seem to affect the poorest nations, esp. those who have very little to begin with. Go figure...

Edited by SG- (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found out this morning that one of the missing Vancouver couples were my mother's former employer. In fact, they were at her wedding in '87 and introduced her to her ex-husband. It was strange hearing this, because everytime I saw their picture on the news I kept thinking "I know them" but couldn't place it. This is a horrifying tragedy and I think this one that is affecting people all over the world.

I hope all of our members in the areas affected are safe and well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a similar vein I found out this morning that one of my legion of doctors and his newly-wedded wife were in Phu Kat (sp?-probably wrong) and are still being searched for. Jaymes was totally right when she said that it becomes a much more epic tragedy if there is a connection. This man came to my hospital room in what was a sorry time for me, held my hand, and assured me that even if things were tough, they weren't irreversible. He was a gentle and good doctor, and I am praying very fervently that he and his wife are not fatally harmed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pan asked about my earlier post suggesting that local agriculture probably wasn't seriously affected. I'm not posing as an expert, but I caught something on the news that suggested that. Most agriculture is inland, almost all the large-scale agriculture to be sure. As far as the effect on estuaries, big waves tend to lose their energy quickly once they hit land, so a 50 foot wave, for instance, would diminish quite rapidly once it was not being propagated in open water.

Probably more significant was the general upwelling of water, the abrupt rising of the ocean, much more subtle than a crashing wavefront. From that, estuarial waters surely rose, but again, the farther from open water, the less the effect.

Again, I'm no authority, just a semi-science geek. And hoping for the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's so odd is when you watch the videos people took of the wave, it really goes against the general impression I think most of us have that a tidal wave is blindingly fast. It's slow--not slow enough to outrun in most cases, admittedly, but you can clearly see each and every thing that goes on. That's part of the danger, I guess, because on some of these horrifying videos you can clearly see people standing around watching the thing and then have this moment when they realize the wave ain't stopping.

As for the effects on local agriculture, my initial statement that I thought there would be a big effect was taken from several media reports which talked about inland flooding. It's not the energy of the wave per-se that's causing the damage there, it's the pure volume of water.

Latest news reports seem to have upped the death estimates approaching (some estimates already exceeding) 80,000 and they are still counting. The Red Cross, which I tend to think would be conservative about such things, is estimating the eventual count could be over 100,000.

Sri Lanka seems to be hit especially badly with disease. Visionary Science fiction writer and scientist Sir Arthur C. Clarke, who has lived in Sri Lanka since 1956, has promised updates on the situation here. There will be many points of view given on this over the coming weeks, but Clarke's may be especially fascinating.

If we want to localize this story in the U.S., there's more than just the angle of western tourists. Here's an article on the potential risks of a tsunami hitting our own west coast someday.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i won't even try to put it in words. i'd rather act anyway so my first instinct was to go with Doctors w/o Borders. thank you for posting info on other, esp. local organizations. the area needs so much help, i hope to contribute more. i'd probably choke on another 3-star meal right now anyway so will send the money instead, it will do more good.

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Latest news reports seem to have upped the death estimates approaching (some estimates already exceeding) 80,000 and they are still counting.  The Red Cross, which I tend to think would be conservative about such things, is estimating the eventual count could be over 100,000.

I suppose my own earlier comments are coming back to haunt me here. Twelve hours later, the estimates have already been bumped to 115,000 and climbing. Indonesia seems to be the real nightmare--estimates are as already at 80,000 in that country ALONE (they bumped it by 20,000 overnight), with Sri Lanka also having as many casualties as 25,000. Even countries as far afield as Tanzania have been affected, although obviously losses there are microscopic in comparison. The BBC has an interesting map of regional reactions.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

somebody said that a tragedy takes on epic proprtions when there is a personal connection. i don't doubt it but i also think that the magnitude of the disaster has deeply affected people without any connection, the same way 9/11 reverberated around the world. ultimately, we are all human beings, that's the connection.

Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...