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Friday, December 31, 2004

What else is there

to write about but the biggest earthquake the world has seen in 40 years registering over 8 points on the Richter scale and creating the tsunami waves that spread over Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand , India and Sri Lanka. The hardest hit parts were parts of Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The dead now number over 120,000 and many more are expected to die from communicable diseases.

The world has responded with relief aid, the US donating $35 million and after Wednesday's paltry offering of 411,000 pounds by Britain they've now upped it to 15 million pounds by Thursday, which is about $28 million. It looks like the money for relief is there but it won't be immediate as there is a huge logistical problem. The pictures in the papers of children left orphans and husbands or wives not knowing anything about their partners or children are really very sad. Most eventually found the bodies of loved ones in morgues. A lot of tourists visiting these regions were affected and stories abound, especially in Sri Lanka, of how tourists were helped by locals to get clean away while they were left to deal with the devastation left behind. The locals kept saying, "Please come back to Sri Lanka after this is over".
During the Tamil guerrilla war, spread over fifteen years tourists avoided the Emerald Island and this had a bad effect on the local economy, bad enough to still be borne in people's minds.

Every little helps so personal donations will still go a long way.

Update : Aid from the UK has exceeded 50 million pounds and China has somewhat surprised us with a pledge of 33 million pounds. Amazing!

Update to Update : The US has pledged $350M. They have special trees that money grows on. ;) Joking aside, thank you to the big donaters from the States. When the Spirit moves htem boy it does move. What is the population of the USA ?

Update : Public donation from Britain is around 60M pounds exceeding the government's pledge. The death tolls are nearly 100,000 in Indonesia alone. Indonesia is predominantly Muslim. Hopefully the relief aid would go some way to show grievances are not with the Muslim people. Dealing with scum like Sadaam Hussein inevitably tips the balance in producing like scum in your camp.
Death tolls in Sri Lanka, the next highest, and India are approx. 30,000 and 10,000
respectively.

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