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Elders' Knowledge of the Oceans Spares Thai 'sea Gypsies' From Tsunami Disaster
The Associated Press ^ | Dec 31, 2004 | Anon

Posted on 12/31/2004 9:06:24 PM PST by Pharmboy

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Knowledge of the ocean and its currents passed down from generation to generation of a group of Thai fishermen known as the Morgan sea gypsies saved an entire village from the Asian tsunami, a newspaper said Saturday. By the time killer waves crashed over southern Thailand last Sunday the entire 181 population of their fishing village had fled to a temple in the mountains of South Surin Island, English language Thai daily The Nation reported.

"The elders told us that if the water recedes fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared," 65-year-old village chief Sarmao Kathalay told the paper.

So while in some places along the southern coast, Thais headed to the beach when the sea drained out of beaches - the first sign of the impending tsunami - to pick up fish left flapping on the sand, the gypsies headed for the hills.

Few people in Thailand have a closer relationship with the sea than the Morgan sea gypsies, who spend each monsoon season on their boats plying the waters of the Andaman Sea from India to Indonesia and back to Thailand.

Between April and December, they live in shelters on the shore surviving by catching shrimp and spear fishing. At boat launching festivals each May, they ask the sea for forgiveness.

AP-ES-12-31-04 2245EST


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: culture; elders; folkknowledge; smart; sumatraquake; tsunami
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Listen to your elders, kids, it could save your life.
1 posted on 12/31/2004 9:06:25 PM PST by Pharmboy
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To: snopercod

Bump.


2 posted on 12/31/2004 9:08:34 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: Pharmboy

maybe these guys should be running the U.N.....they sure have more common sense


3 posted on 12/31/2004 9:11:32 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: Pharmboy
The elders told us that if the water recedes fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared

That's a big duh and I have no knowlege of the ocean. I thought the first time someone being interviewed about the water receding that that was a huge indication that something was sucking it out and it would come back 10 fold and you'd better get outta there quick. I still can't understand why the native born, of all people, wandered out into the waters.

4 posted on 12/31/2004 9:13:34 PM PST by mtbopfuyn
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To: NorCalRepub
maybe these guys should be running the U.N.....they sure have more common sense
Nah... imagine Annan explaining re Oil for Food program that the elders told him that "if the money disappears fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared"
5 posted on 12/31/2004 9:16:50 PM PST by GSlob
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To: mtbopfuyn

Curiosity


6 posted on 12/31/2004 9:19:13 PM PST by Bobibutu
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To: mtbopfuyn

You are educated - they are not.


7 posted on 12/31/2004 9:20:44 PM PST by Bobibutu
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To: Pharmboy; JimSEA; SunkenCiv
Qualifies for a:

GGG Ping. (anthropology)

Hey Jim, how are you doing over there?

8 posted on 12/31/2004 9:22:19 PM PST by blam
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To: GSlob

bingo....or reappear in his back account in the same quantity


9 posted on 12/31/2004 9:23:21 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: GSlob
Nah... imagine Annan explaining re Oil for Food program that the elders told him that "if the money disappears fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared"

Or freetraders saying "if the JOBS disappear fast they will reappear in the same quantity in which they disappeared"!

10 posted on 12/31/2004 9:23:46 PM PST by A. Pole (The owl of wisdom flies after sunset.)
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To: A. Pole

Unless the activity in which the jobs were involved gets abandoned, the disappeared jobs WILL indeed reappear (someone will have to do it), but not necessarily in either their former number (quantity) or the same location.


11 posted on 12/31/2004 9:28:31 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Pharmboy
In 64 I knew to get my but down to the harbor (L.A) and run the boat out to sea when I got word of the Alaska quake.

The boat slips with their boats that the owners didn't have the sense to get them out got wasted.

Luckily Long Beach Marina was almost finished and I was able to get a slip there when it subsided, mine in L.A. was no longer in existence.
12 posted on 12/31/2004 9:28:38 PM PST by dalereed
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To: Pharmboy
Interesting. The Morgan Sea Gypsies would make a nice name for a lounge band.
13 posted on 12/31/2004 9:29:06 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: Pharmboy

When there's no water in the bay, start to run the other way!


14 posted on 12/31/2004 9:32:41 PM PST by Falcon4.0
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To: Pharmboy; nw_arizona_granny

I thought you would appreciate this story.

Ping and happy new years!


15 posted on 12/31/2004 9:35:39 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Pharmboy

Why didn't the sea gypsies share this knowledge? They could have saved a lot of lives.


16 posted on 12/31/2004 9:35:59 PM PST by Ditter
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To: Pharmboy
I was hit by a surge wave during a small hurricane, called hurricane Juan. I was far from the edge of the water sun bathing when someone screamed just in time for me to raise up on my elbows and look left.

That surge wave hit me like a hammer and rolled me down the beach like a dead flounder and that was just a tiny surge wave. I can't imagine the power that was behind the wave that hit those unfortunate people, it had to have been like getting hit by a cement wall.
17 posted on 12/31/2004 9:38:34 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: dalereed
"In 64 I knew to get my but down to the harbor (L.A) and run the boat out to sea when I got word of the Alaska quake."

Smart move mate.

18 posted on 12/31/2004 9:39:04 PM PST by blam
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To: Ditter
"Why didn't the sea gypsies share this knowledge? They could have saved a lot of lives."

The sea gypsies, local governments, the UN...none of them cared enough to put up beach signs with a picture of receding water preceding a big wave.

...But at least the sea gypsies warned those around them when they saw it, unlike those local governments and the UN.

19 posted on 12/31/2004 9:41:18 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: MissAmericanPie

I had a similar experience on a beach in Hawaii. Someone here called it a rogue wave. I was standing about 6 feet from the waters edge and the water sucked back and up about 10 feet and before I could get away it came crashing down. I was in water almost to my waist and fighting to get to safety.


20 posted on 12/31/2004 9:45:40 PM PST by Ditter
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To: GSlob
Unless the activity in which the jobs were involved gets abandoned, the disappeared jobs WILL indeed reappear (someone will have to do it), but not necessarily in either their former number (quantity) or the same location.

It's a one-world economy now and love it or hate it, the genie isn't ever going back into the bottle.

We need to be able to do our jobs cheaper and better than anyone else anywhere else on the planet can. Considering that the USA unemployment rate is about half of Germany's, we are NOT doing badly with this at all!

21 posted on 12/31/2004 9:47:13 PM PST by Sooth2222
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To: Pharmboy

It's called, "learning from history". A subject not really taught in schools any more.


22 posted on 12/31/2004 9:48:08 PM PST by taxesareforever
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To: taxesareforever

If the ocean pulled back, I would run like the wind.


23 posted on 12/31/2004 9:49:45 PM PST by GodOfmercy
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To: Pharmboy

It's not what you know, but how you feel about yourself. [/sarcasm]


24 posted on 12/31/2004 9:53:57 PM PST by VRWC For Truth
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To: Southack

There was a report on NOAA that our location in Hawaii detected it and sent warnings out too.

I have no idea where the communication break down occurred.


25 posted on 12/31/2004 9:54:29 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: taxesareforever

"A subject not really taught in schools any more"

Schools primary purpose in the last 30+ years has been to remove the ability to think and reason.

If you retain that ability you are no longer a mind numbed robot that takes direction from the government.


26 posted on 12/31/2004 9:55:09 PM PST by dalereed
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To: Ditter
If I recall correctly the Sea Gypsies are a very small muslim ethnicity. They are pretty much subsistence fisherman, some even live on their junks. I saw some while in Thailand and they don't look like the type to carry inmarsat phones and they definitely don't I-M their buddies when they find a good school of fish. I don't think they have much contact with other peoples and they don't seem to dig tourists, either.
27 posted on 12/31/2004 9:56:17 PM PST by USNBandit (Florida military absentee voter number 537.)
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To: Southack

Yes, found the warning. We sent out a bulletin to all of the affected area's governments.

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2004/s2357.htm

Dec. 26, 2004 — NOAA scientists acted quickly when a warning was issued about the powerful undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean that triggered a devastating tsunami. Within minutes following an alarm signaling the strong earthquake, the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued an information bulletin to nations in the Pacific at 8:14 p.m. EST Saturday, indicating that a magnitude 8.0 earthquake (later upgraded to magnitude 9.0) had occurred off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Because the earthquake, reported to be one of the strongest in the world in the past 40 years, occurred in the Indian Ocean, not the Pacific, there was no threat of a tsunami to Hawaii, the West Coast of North America or to other coasts in the Pacific Basin—the U.S. area of responsibility. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Indonesia tsunami epicenter map. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)


28 posted on 12/31/2004 10:00:47 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia
"There was a report on NOAA that our location in Hawaii detected it and sent warnings out too. I have no idea where the communication break down occurred."

The breakdown occurred at multiple levels. The UN had no Tsunami education program in place in that region, for one thing (Kofi was too busy snow skiing on UN money). For another, the local governments didn't put up signs to educate their own people about the warning signals of an impending tsunami.

Failing the above, the local governments received the American tsunami warning but didn't tell their own people on the shores.

So the only people who were warned were those who heard the American alert from our in-place tsunami detection system, and those few who were told face-to-face by some wise elders (but even those elders bear some fault for not putting up warning signs at beaches years ago).

29 posted on 12/31/2004 10:04:28 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack
I post pinged you again with the link.

But I'm emphasizing this: Within minutes following an alarm signaling the strong earthquake, the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued an information bulletin to nations in the Pacific at 8:14 p.m. EST Saturday, indicating that a magnitude 8.0 earthquake (later upgraded to magnitude 9.0) had occurred off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia.

The affected governments of the nations were warned before it happened.

30 posted on 12/31/2004 10:07:05 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Calpernia

Bump and Happy New Year.


31 posted on 12/31/2004 10:18:14 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (Today, please pray for God's miracle, we are not going to make it without him.)
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To: Southack

Now that I think about it....

Is this why there was that sudden defensiveness to us about how much aid we offered? Was that defensive posturing because we gave warning and someone(s) dropped the ball and the death toll didn't have to be this massive?


32 posted on 12/31/2004 10:18:48 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Pharmboy

bttt


33 posted on 12/31/2004 10:20:40 PM PST by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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To: BIGLOOK

Hey BigLook,

If NOAA had computer models of this Tsunomi and sent out information bulletins about it...why was the death toll so high? Any thoughts?


34 posted on 12/31/2004 10:29:15 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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NOAA clips of Tsunomi hours before it happened that was sent out in bulletins can be seen here:

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tsunami/time/


35 posted on 12/31/2004 10:31:08 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: KylaStarr; Cindy; StillProud2BeFree; nw_arizona_granny; Revel; Velveeta; Dolphy; Viking2002; ...

NOAA had computer generated models of the Tsunomi hours before it hit and sent out information bulletins with warnings.

Did the death toll need to be this high if there was forewarnings?


36 posted on 12/31/2004 10:33:42 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: GodOfmercy

You must be from the old school like me.


37 posted on 12/31/2004 10:35:00 PM PST by taxesareforever
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To: mtbopfuyn
I still can't understand why the native born, of all people, wandered out into the waters.

Tsunamis are extremely rare in the Indian Ocean.

People who live on the coasts of the Pacific Ocean are much more familiar with them.

38 posted on 12/31/2004 10:35:06 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: Calpernia

Good question Calpernia.


39 posted on 12/31/2004 10:37:06 PM PST by Cindy
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To: LiveFreeOrDie2001; mhking; JohnHuang2; ChewedGum; sonsofliberty2000

NOAA had computer generated models of the Tsunomi hours before it hit and sent out information bulletins with warnings.

Did the death toll need to be this high if there was forewarnings?


40 posted on 12/31/2004 10:40:21 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: NorCalRepub
"or reappear in his bac[n]k account in the same quantity"
Not in the same quantity, BUT WITH INTEREST!
41 posted on 12/31/2004 10:41:07 PM PST by GSlob
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"The elders told us that if the water recedes fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared," 65-year-old village chief Sarmao Kathalay

Interesting.

A blessed 2005, FRiends.


42 posted on 12/31/2004 10:43:28 PM PST by JockoManning (www.biblegateway.com)
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To: Ditter

LOL Right, they should have just jumped on the cell phone and called the authorities. Every gypsie has one you know.


43 posted on 12/31/2004 10:45:58 PM PST by Giliad (Ouside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.)
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To: blam
It sounds like word of mouth passed down from the Krakatoa (sp?) eruption and waves.

We are well in the North but sad as is everone. You know that people you chatted with are either dead or destitute in the wake of the tragedy. We are still thinking of Pan Yee village where the tour boats stop near Bond Rock. The entire town is built on piles over the sea with no land except steep cliffs to run to. At Puket, we usually went to one little restruant -- plastic chairs and rickety tables -- where the owners are particularly friendly and talkative. No way of knowing but our prayers are with them as well as all the thousands of others.

All in all, Thailand seems to be holding up quite well -- Buddhism and a culture which values compassion. People yet wish eachother a healthful and happy New Year which they face with optimism.

Sabai Pii Maay

44 posted on 12/31/2004 10:47:19 PM PST by JimSEA ( "More Bush, Less Taxes.")
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To: Calpernia

Yes some of the countries knew about it and they decided not issue a warning because they thought it would hurt tourism BUT at the time they were told it was a 5.9 or something like that. I think India has admitted this.

When the quake occurred it took a while for them to know it was at least a 7.9

Every beach area in these countries should have signs on the beach and/or at the hotels (on the backs of the doors) about Tsunami's and I bet most of them now will do this.


45 posted on 12/31/2004 10:52:25 PM PST by stlnative
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To: Calpernia

Do a search on FR for the very first thread of the Quake. I was told it took the online quake sites at least 15 minutes to get up on the internet after it happened and almost 2 hours before it hit the 24 news headlines.


46 posted on 12/31/2004 10:56:20 PM PST by stlnative
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To: brigette

>>>When the quake occurred it took a while for them to know it was at least a 7.9

That isn't what the report says at NOAA. The links to the computer models that was generated AND SENT OUT were made from a quake registering at 8.0.


47 posted on 12/31/2004 10:59:05 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: brigette

Why do a search at FR for 3rd hand information when I posted the information and links to NOAA with the actually reports that went out with the dates, times and graphics with the data that was sent?


48 posted on 12/31/2004 11:01:23 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Bobibutu
I have lived on the water all my life, and I have on numerous occasion seen very very low tides, but I have never seen a tsunami. 20/20 hind sight isn't really all that cool.
49 posted on 12/31/2004 11:02:44 PM PST by jpsb
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To: Calpernia

The info on those sites has been changed. The first FR posts have the information as it came out. There was even posts on how it was changed or altered on the websites you mentioned.

But hey I was just trying to answer your questions and surely would not lie to you over this. Believe what you want.


50 posted on 12/31/2004 11:05:08 PM PST by stlnative
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