Skip to comments.Maldives loses 42 islands as tsunami toll hits 117 (Global Warming Alert)
Posted on 12/30/2004 7:51:01 AM PST by jazzo
MALE (AFP) - At least 42 islands in the tourist paradise of the Maldives were flattened with 117 people killed and missing after tsunamis raved the low-lying atoll nation, the president said.
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said 75 people were killed while another 42 were confirmed missing in Sunday's devastating tidal waves that caused havoc in his nation of 1,192 coral islands.
"We were not in any way prepared to deal with this disaster," Gayoom told a special session of the national parliament. The toll could be higher as the authorities re-establish contact with far flung islands, he said on Thursday.
"Maldives may be able to build a new life from scratch with financial assistance, but dealing with the widespread personal tragedy and despair would not be easy," he said.
The tragedy struck the atoll nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims which is already facing the prospect of extinction from sea level rise caused by global warming. Gayoom had warned that a one-meter (three foot four inch) rise in sea levels could submerge his country.
When walls of water washed over the Maldives, the nation lost all the infrastructure on 13 of its 202 inhabited islands while another 29 of the country's 85 resort islands suffered similar damage.
Each island is a single resort hotel with the geographical formation allowing the country to keep foreigners and the local Sunni Muslim population separate except in the one square mile capital island Male.
Foreigners are not allowed to overnight on islands inhabited by Maldivians and special permission is required to visit them.
Gayoom, 67, who is Asia's longest serving president in power since 1978, has already declared an emergency and put off parliamentary elections that were due Friday.
Voting has been re-scheduled for January 22, but officials said even that could be put off again as the country struggled to rebuild itself amid initial estimates that the damage was in excess of 1.5 billion dollars.
Gayoom said 9,000 people had been evacuated from damaged islands while another 12,000 were made homeless across the archipelago.
"There are shortcomings in the relief operations," he admitted but urged all Maldivians to unite in the face of the worst disaster to hit the nation and said they were also getting international help.
Officials said a total of six foreigners, three Britons, two Sri Lankans and one Indian were among those confirmed killed.
The Maldives was getting a shipment of drinking water from Britain Thursday, officials said.
Scottish Water was sending thousands of bottles in an aircraft that was flying in to pick up stranded tourists.
"Foreigners are not allowed to overnight on islands inhabited by Maldivians and special permission is required to visit them."
No kidding. What a friendly place.
the prospect of extinction from sea level rise caused by global warming
I guess there's no sense in rebuilding the islands since they were doomed anyway.
You would think that people who are that close to or at sea level would figure out some sort of protection? Nothing would have helped against a disaster of this magnitude but if your country is going to be destroyed if the water raises 3 feet then maybe investing in some sea walls or levees would have been a good idea?
Gee, I can't imagine why.
Channeling Sam Kinison....
You live on a postage stamp in the ocean!!!!!!!!!!
There's water in the ocean!!!!!!!
If the water rises, you die!!!!!!!!!!
Move, you morons!!!!!!!!!!!
is that you can not visit
Midway without lots
of permission slips
and a special tracking thing.
And we own Midway . . .
dominate the planet, and
call us oppressive . . .
I know a some banking people who have dealt with this "country"...I am told they are all a bunch of d**n
"We were not in any way prepared to deal with this disaster,"
Yet, the crazed leftists cannot wait to blame the U.S. Another reason why they threw in the global warming thing. I'm surprized they didn't mention President Bush's refusal of the Kyoto Treaty.
When the earthquake hit California a few years back, some newswoman had on a couple of geologists. She asked them if global warming was the cause, expecting praise for the question instead of the disturbed looks she got instead.
To show how stupid I am, I thought for many years that global warming was caused by the sun.
I'm no expert here, Gayoom, but I'd say it's time for a little emergency planning. What a maroon.
It's pretty simple to understand. The tsunamis danced all night to techno beats and did Ecstacy.
Foreign money would be welcome, however.
Would seem that Saudi Arabia is responsible for providing the poison that is destroying their country.
Razed seems probable. Maybe they meant "ravaged."
I reckon praying 5 times a day to Allah doesn't really leave much time for preparedness.
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