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Asian Tsunamis Kill at Least 20,000 People
AP ^ | 12/26/04 | DILIP GANGULY

Posted on 12/26/2004 8:57:28 PM PST by TexKat

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Legions of rescuers spread across Asia Monday after an earthquake of epic power struck deep beneath the Indian Ocean, unleashing 20-foot tidal waves that ravaged coasts across thousands of miles and killed more than 13,340 people and left millions homeless in the fourth-largest temblor in a century.

The death toll along the southern coast of Asia — and as far west as Somalia, on the African coast, where nine people were reported lost — steadily increased as authorities sorted out a far-flung disaster caused by Sunday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake, strongest in 40 years.

Signs of the carnage were everywhere: Dozens of bodies still clad in swimming trunks lined beaches in Thailand. Villagers in Indonesia picked through the debris of destroyed houses amid the smell of rotting corpses. Hundreds of prisoners escaped a coastal jail in Sri Lanka.

More than one million people were driven from their homes in Indonesia alone, and rescuers there on Monday combed seaside villages for survivors. The Indian air force used helicopters to rush food and medicine to stricken seashore areas.

Another million were driven from their homes in Sri Lanka where some 25,000 soldiers and 10 air force helicopters were deployed in relief and rescue efforts, authorities said.

At Thailand's beach resorts, packed with Europeans fleeing the winter cold at the peak of the holiday season, families and friends had tearful reunions Monday after a day of fear that their loved ones had been swept away.

Katri Seppanen, 27, of Helsinki, Finland, walked around barefoot, in her salt water-stained T-shirt and skirt, at the Patong Hospital waiting room where she spent the night with her mother and sister. She had a bandaged cut on her leg.

"The water went back, back, back, so far away, and everyone wondered what it was — a full moon or what? Then we saw the wave come, and we ran," said a tearful Seppanen, who was on the popular Patong beach with her family. The wave washed over their heads and separated them.

Fifty-eight half-naked and swimming suit-clad corpses lay in rows outside the Patong Hospital emergency room. Three babies under the age of one were among the victims. A photo of one baby was posted on the wall of victims, the little corpse in a nearby refrigerator.

The earthquake hit at 6:58 a.m.; the tsunami came as much as 2 1/2 hours later, without warning, on a morning of crystal blue skies. Sunbathers and snorkelers, cars and cottages, fishing boats and even a lighthouse were swept away.

Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India each reported thousands dead. Deaths were also reported in Malaysia, Maldives and Bangladesh.

"It's an extraordinary calamity of such colossal proportions that the damage has been unprecedented," said Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa of India's Tamil Nadu, a southern state which reported 1,705 dead, many of them strewn along beaches, virtual open-air mortuaries.

"It all seems to have happened in the space of 20 minutes. A massive tidal wave of extreme ferocity ... smashed everything in sight to smithereens," she said.

At least three Americans were among the dead — two in Sri Lanka and one in Thailand, according to State Department spokesman Noel Clay. He said a number of other Americans were injured, but he had no details.

"We're working on ways to help. The United States will be very responsive," Clay said.

John Krueger, 34, of Winter Park, Colorado, described being inside his bungalow Sunday on Khao Luk Beach, north of Phuket, with his wife, Romina Canton, 26, of Rosario, Argentina, when the water filled it and blew it apart.

"The water rushed under the bungalow, brought our floor up and raised us to the ceiling. The water blew out our doors, our windows and the back concrete wall. My wife was swept away with the wall, and I had to bust my way through the roof," Krueger said while waiting to talk to a U.S. Embassy official at Phuket City Hall. "It was like being in a washing machine."

Canton was dragged into the ocean for more than an hour until a wave brought her back to land again, with a broken nose and foot scratches all over her body, Krueger said.

The quake was centered 155 miles south-southeast of Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia's Aceh province on Sumatra, and six miles under the Indian Ocean's seabed. The temblor leveled dozens of buildings on Sumatra — and was followed Sunday by at least a half-dozen powerful aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from almost 6 to 7.3, and one aftershock Monday that hit India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The waves that followed the first massive jolt were far more lethal.

An Associated Press reporter in Aceh province saw bodies wedged in trees as the waters receded. More bodies littered the beaches. Authorities said at least 4,448 were dead in Indonesia; the full impact of the disaster was not known, as communications were cut to the towns most affected.

The waves barreled across the Bay of Bengal, pummeling Sri Lanka, where more than 4,500 were reported killed — at least 3,000 in areas controlled by the government and about 1,500 in regions controlled by rebels, who listed the death toll on their Web site. There was an unconfirmed report of 500 more deaths on another Web site that provided no details. Some 170 children were feared lost in an orphanage. More than a million people were displaced from wrecked villages.

Devinda R. Subasinghe, the Sri Lanka ambassador to the United States, said the extensive damage will make the rescue effort more difficult. "It's going to take time to figure out access to these areas that have been impacted," Subasinghe said Monday in an interview on CNN. Up to 70 percent of the island's coastline was damaged, he said.

There was sporadic, small-scale looting in the towns of Galle and Matara, and authorities said about 200 inmates escaped from a prison, taking advantage of the chaos after guards panicked and fled when water entered the building.

About 2,300 were reported dead along the southern coasts of India. The private Aaj Tak television channel put the death toll there at up to 3,300, but the report could not be confirmed. At least 431 in Thailand, 48 in Malaysia and 32 in the Maldives, a string of coral islands off the southwestern coast of India. At least two died in Bangladesh — children who drowned as a boat with about 15 tourists capsized in high waves.

In India's Andhra Pradesh state, at least 32 Hindu devotees were drowned when they went into the sea for a religious ceremony to mark the full moon. Among them were 15 children. On Monday, bodies of women and children lay strewn on the sand.

"I was shocked to see innumerable fishing boats flying on the shoulder of the waves, going back and forth into the sea, as if made of paper," said P. Ramanamurthy, 40, of that state.

In Cuddalore, in the worst-hit Tamil Nadu state, survivors huddled Monday in a marriage hall turned makeshift shelter, as fire engine sirens whined outside. Broken boats law on the shore near smashed huts with only frail bamboo frames jutting out of the ground.

The earthquake that caused the tsunami was the largest since a 9.2 temblor hit Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1964, according to geophysicist Julie Martinez of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"All the planet is vibrating" from the quake, said Enzo Boschi, the head of Italy's National Geophysics Institute. Speaking on SKY TG24 TV, Boschi said the quake even disturbed the Earth's rotation.

The quake occurred at a place where several huge geological plates push against each other with massive force. The survey said a 620-mile section along the boundary of the plates shifted, motion that triggered the sudden displacement of a huge volume of water.

Scientists said the death toll might have been reduced if India and Sri Lanka had been part of an international warning system designed to advise coastal communities that a potentially killer wave was approaching. Although Thailand is part of the system, the west coast of its southern peninsula does not have the system's wave sensors mounted on ocean buoys.

As it was, there was no warning. Gemunu Amarasinghe, an AP photographer in Sri Lanka, said he saw young boys rushing to catch fish that had been scattered on the beach by the first wave.

"But soon afterward, the devastating second series of waves came," he said. He climbed onto the roof of his car, but "In a few minutes my jeep was under water. The roof collapsed.

"I joined masses of people in escaping to high land. Some carried their dead and injured loved ones. Some of the dead were eventually placed at roadside, and covered with sarongs. Others walked past dazed, asking if anyone had seen their family members."

Michael Dobbs, a reporter for The Washington Post, was swimming around a tiny island off a Sri Lankan beach at about 9:15 a.m. when his brother called out that something strange was happening with the sea.

Then, within minutes, "the beach and the area behind it had become an inland sea, rushing over the road and pouring into the flimsy houses on the other side. The speed with which it all happened seemed like a scene from the Bible — a natural phenomenon unlike anything I had experienced before," he wrote on the Post's Web site.

Dobbs weathered the wave, but then found himself struggling to keep from being swept away when the floodwaters receded.

The international airport was closed in the Maldives after a tidal wave that left 51 people missing in addition to the 32 dead.

Indonesia, a country of 17,000 islands, is prone to seismic upheaval because of its location on the margins of tectonic plates that make up the so-called the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean basin.

The Indonesian quake struck just three days after an 8.1 quake along the ocean floor between Australia and Antarctica caused buildings to shake hundreds of miles away. The earlier temblor caused no serious damage or injury.

Quakes reaching a magnitude 8 are very rare. A quake registering magnitude 8 rocked Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Sept. 25, 2003, injuring nearly 600 people. An 8.4 magnitude tremor that struck off Peru on June 23, 2001, killed 74.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deathtoll; sumatraquake; tsunami; tsunamis
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Video grab shows a tidal wave in Penang after tsunami waves hit southern Asia on Sunday in this amateur video footage taken December 26, 2004. Soldiers searched for bodies in treetops, families wept over the dead lined up on beaches and rescuers scoured coral isles for missing tourists after an earthquake, as Asia counted the cost on Monday of a tsunami that saw tidal waves kill more than 13, 400. REUTERS/Amateur Video Grab

A mother grieves as another relative carries the body of a child washed ashore at Silver Beach in Cuddalore, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Monday, Dec. 27, 2004. Massive tidal waves triggered by an Indonesian earthquake slammed into southern India Sunday, killing nearly 2,300 people and sweeping away boats, homes and vehicles. The worst affected area was Tamil Nadu state, where 1,705 people were killed. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

1 posted on 12/26/2004 8:57:28 PM PST by TexKat
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To: TexKat
lesson learned: If you see the water recede significantly, run for higher ground
2 posted on 12/26/2004 9:01:31 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead (I believe in American Exceptionalism! Do you?)
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To: Texas_Jarhead

---lesson learned: If you see the water recede significantly, run for higher ground---

What? and ignore all the great beachcombing?


3 posted on 12/26/2004 9:03:22 PM PST by gortklattu (As the preacher in Blazing Saddles said "You're on your own.")
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To: TexKat

This is heartbreaking, TexKat. Thanks for posting the update.


4 posted on 12/26/2004 9:05:51 PM PST by bd476
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To: TexKat

The size of this disaster boggles the mind.


5 posted on 12/26/2004 9:13:20 PM PST by rdl6989
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To: rdl6989

I know. As I have been enjoying my evening, thousands of people have been suffering.


6 posted on 12/26/2004 9:22:13 PM PST by KittyKares
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To: TexKat

[TamilNet, December 26, 2004 21:29 GMT]
“We went from the hospital to retrieve some bodies of people killed by the first wave near the Pandiruppu beach. We saw at a distance another massive wave, more than hundred feet high, speeding towards Kalmunaikudi. It was like a diagonal wall rising out of the sea. The sight was terrible. We ran for our lives. I do not believe that anything could have survived the force of that wave”, said a doctor at the Kalmunai base hospital Monday.
Doctor Murugesapillai Baghavan said he believed that scale of death and destruction in the Pandiruppu, Kalmunaikudi area could be much greater than what has been assessed so far.

“The wave would have sucked homes and people back into the sea. Few could have resisted its force. We think that whole areas have been buried under sand dug up by the wave’s power”, Dr. Baghavan said.

More than a thousand injured people have been treated at the Kalmunai Base Hospital until Sunday night, he added. “The hospital mortuary is full. We are piling up bodies outside the hospital”,

Seriously wounded patients have been sent to Amparai town. Evacuation is severely hindered by people who have crowded in their thousands on the main road in Kalmunai and Pandiruppu.

About hundred and sixteen bodies have been recovered so far in Thirukkovil, the large Tamil village 74 kilometres south of Batticaloa. More than hundred and fifty bodies have been recovered in Ninthavur, a Muslim, Tamil village near

http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=13732


7 posted on 12/26/2004 9:28:24 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Democrat Obstructionists will be Daschled!)
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To: Texas_Jarhead
Wrong lesson.

If you visit an oceanfront beach without checking for quakes of Richter 4.4 or better at sites in direct (uninterdicted by land masses) line with your chosen beach within the past 48 hrs, you has done scrod up bigtime.

Direct line is the key; the folks at the beaches on the N/NW coast of Sri Lanka, for example, were not affected, probably had a very nice sun & swim. Those who were enjoying the beach on the SE coast are dead or missing.

8 posted on 12/26/2004 9:30:38 PM PST by SAJ
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To: KittyKares

Now there is concern of disease due to lack of safe drinking water.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3140462a10,00.html
The United Nations warned today of epidemics within days if health systems could not cope. Experts said the top issues were water, sanitation, food, shelter and health, and warned that the effects of disease could be as bad as the tsunami itself.


9 posted on 12/26/2004 9:36:17 PM PST by rdl6989
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To: TexKat
The earthquake hit at 6:58 a.m.; the tsunami came as much as 2 1/2 hours later, without warning

Now that is very fascinating!

That says the initial quake did not cause the tsunami immediately but a subsequent event, like the collapse of an undersea trench that suddenly displaced a great mass of water.....assuming the timing is the arrival at the Thailand beaches.

10 posted on 12/26/2004 9:38:51 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I'd seen it mentioned earlier on the tv, that the wave traveled at a speed of 500 m.p.h.. Unbelievable and so sad for the people that were hit with this.


11 posted on 12/26/2004 9:42:43 PM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (More sweat in peace. Less blood in war.)
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To: backhoe; tubebender; RadioAstronomer; snopercod; Boot Hill

see my post above about the timing.


12 posted on 12/26/2004 9:46:32 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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A road is damaged by a powerful earlthquake in Lhokseumawe in northern Sumatra's Aceh province December 26, 2004. Indonesian soldiers searched fort bodies in tree tops and in smashed home on Monday, a day after a tsunami triggered by a huge earthquake tore through northern Sumatra island killing at least 4,448 people. Picture taken December 26, 2004. NO ARCHIVE, NO SALE REUTERS/Waspada Daily

The scene at the Marina beach in Madras after tidal waves hit the region. The death toll from an earthquake off Indonesia and tsunamis that it unleashed reached 13,773 as officials reported deaths in seven countries in southern and southeastern Asia(AFP)

Bodies of victims who were killed by tidal waves lie at the Government Hospital mortuary in Nagappattinam, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) south of Madras, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Monday, Dec. 27, 2004. Massive tidal waves triggered by an Indonesian earthquake slammed into southern India Sunday, killing nearly 2,300 people and sweeping away boats, homes and vehicles. The worst affected area was Tamil Nadu state, where 1,705 people were killed. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh)

Foreign tourists staying in Phi Phi island arrive in Phuket , southern Thailand for treatment, December 26, 2004. One of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit Asia on Sunday, unleashing a tsunami which devastated coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and tourist isles in Thailand, killing more than 11,300 people. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Aerial view of the scene at the Marina beach in Madras after tidal waves caused by an earthquake in Indonesia hit the region.(AFP/Str)

Indian bystanders watch rescue operations at the Marina beach in Madras after tidal waves hit the region, throwing a car onto a road barrier.(AFP/Str)

An unidentified mother cries near the bodies of her daughters who died in tidal waves at Kanyakumari, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004. More than 9,300 people across Asia were killed Sunday after one of the most powerful earthquakes on record triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into coastlines in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia. (AP Photo/Str)

People stand near bodies of victims who died in tidal waves, to identify them, at the Royapettah Government hospital in Madras, India, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004. Thousands of people across Asia were killed Sunday after one of the most powerful earthquakes on record triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into coastlines in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

People stop and watch the aftermath of the Dec 26 tidal wave that washed off the resort island in Phuket, southern Thailand, Monday, Dec 27, 2004. The tidal waves and flooding in Thailand were induced by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the world's strongest in 40 years, which originated in Indonesian waters but wreaked devastation along the southern shores of Asia, killing more than 13,300. (AP Photo/John W. Ishii)

Vehicles turns over and debris littered in the street in Phuket, southern Thailand after the Dec 26 tidal wave washed the resort island, Monday, Dec 27, 2004. The tidal waves and flooding in Thailand were induced by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the world's strongest in 40 years, which originated in Indonesian waters but wreaked devastation along the southern shores of Asia, killing more than 13,300. (AP Photo/John W. Ishii)

13 posted on 12/26/2004 9:57:35 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: TexKat

And, of course, Howard Dean has blamed this on global warming.

He can't get to Hell soon enough.


14 posted on 12/26/2004 9:59:18 PM PST by noblejones
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I have been seening articles regarding an earthquake hitting somewhere for the past 2 or 3 days, perhaps since Thursday evening. I'll see if I can find it.


15 posted on 12/26/2004 10:01:13 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: noblejones

You know this is sad and I pray for those that have lost love ones.


16 posted on 12/26/2004 10:02:37 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: All

The CNN ticker says that the Tsunamis can travel as fast as 600 mph in the deepest water but that they slow down to around 30 to 40 mph as they approach the shoreline.

They are reporting that the quake ripped a 1000 kilometer hole (about 621 miles) in earth's crust.

CNN (not the headline channel HNN) is covering it live tonight.

Also there were some 2000 fishermen out overall when this happened. Many of the bodies washing up on shore in some areas are the fishermen.

I wonder if there was any cruise ships in the area when this happened?


17 posted on 12/26/2004 10:05:14 PM PST by stlnative
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To: TexKat
Pulled this little tidbit from Drudge:

_____________________________________________

Moved the entire island of Sumatra about 100 feet toward the southwest; first tsunami in the Indian Ocean since 1883...

_____________________________________________________

Wonder how much the seafloor was reshaped.....

18 posted on 12/26/2004 10:06:31 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I have heard this...

They are reporting that the quake ripped a 1000 kilometer hole (about 621 miles) in the earth's crust.


19 posted on 12/26/2004 10:08:42 PM PST by stlnative
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To: TexKat

On the last two pictures, I have stayed several times in Phuket, about a 5 minute walk from where those pics were shot. My hotel most likely didn't get hit, but its scary. About 3.5 weeks ago, I was in Krabi, which also got hit, I hope the scuba company I was with didn't get hit while at sea.

I'm still stunned....


20 posted on 12/26/2004 10:10:32 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never see myself in the mirror with my eyes closed)
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To: TexKat

Man-oh-man, the ocean's gonna get a bad rep for this. Just like with Jaws.


21 posted on 12/26/2004 10:10:39 PM PST by Justa (Politically Correct is morally wrong.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

From a CNN report

"A quake of this size has some pretty serious effects," Person said.

The quake represented the energy released from "a very large rupture in the earth's crust" more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) long. The rupture created shock waves that pushed the water at speeds of up to several hundred kilometers per hour.


22 posted on 12/26/2004 10:12:15 PM PST by stlnative
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To: TexKat

omygosh- 9.0, 13,000 dead...
:O


23 posted on 12/26/2004 10:14:22 PM PST by Gal.5:1
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To: noblejones
Videos

Asian Quakes' Tsunami Kill More Than 8,000

Tsunami Hits Southeast Asia

Tsunami Strikes Thai Resort

24 posted on 12/26/2004 10:18:25 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: brigette
They are reporting that the quake ripped a 1000 kilometer hole

Now how do they know that?

Reporters at work......

25 posted on 12/26/2004 10:22:22 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: TexKat

I am surprised that the Dummos have not blamed this on George W. Bush


26 posted on 12/26/2004 10:27:56 PM PST by 26lemoncharlie (Defending America)
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To: noblejones

Are you serious?


27 posted on 12/26/2004 10:27:59 PM PST by Republican Wildcat
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To: All

Ring of Fire

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/volcano/gifs/ringoffirecolor.GIF


28 posted on 12/26/2004 10:29:01 PM PST by stlnative
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To: Texas_Jarhead

Supposedly it happened very suddenly ... even to those alert to the signs you mention.


29 posted on 12/26/2004 10:30:04 PM PST by BunnySlippers (Happy Festivus ...)
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To: brigette

From the Bangkok Post:

Killer waves wreak havoc

271204_new02 (10K)
Huge death toll throughout region --- Major earthquake near Sumatra --- Thousands swept off beaches

Post Reporters

Almost 300 people are confirmed dead, and several thousand people were injured after at least three tidal waves lashed the South of Thailand and swept their way across Asia.

The death toll continued to mount last night as rescue workers uncovered more bodies hours after the first waves struck.

The waves, at least five metres high, struck the Andaman coastal provinces of Phuket, Phangnga, Krabi, Trang, Satun and Ranong.

The earthquake which triggered the tidal surge, centred on the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, was felt in Bangkok.

On the same day, another quake in Burma sent shock waves to the northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Mae Hong Son.

A total of 289 people were dead and 3,675 injured, according to the figures presented to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra by the Narenthorn emergency centre at 10pm last night.

The death toll was mounting by the hour as bodies were washed ashore, plucked from the water or recovered from under piles of rubble. The waves flattened small buildings in a matter of minutes.

More than 1,000 people, many of them tourists, were hurt from falling debris. Foreign tourists pulled wounded friends and family members out of the wreckage.

The injured were being nursed on hotel poolside deckchairs metres from debris-strewn beaches.

Phuket was declared an emergency area. Governor Udomsak Assawarangkul said three huge waves struck the province around 8am, 10am and 1pm.

Beachfront vendor outlets were the first to be dragged into the sea.

The governor said the tremor preceding the tidal waves was felt across the province. People panicked as the waves rolled in, sucking tourists into the water, knocking down power poles, uprooting trees, crashing into houses and hotels and tossing about cars.

Mr Udomsak said about 50 boats sank off Phuket. The Sarasin bridge linking nearby provinces was cracked and closed to traffic.

Boats with broken masts swept onto beaches, and roads became impassable. The main road parallel to Patong beach was flooded. Floods as high as eight metres also inundated parts of tambon Rawai, Muang district.

Provincial authorities told people to keep away from Kata, Karon and Patong beaches, in case more waves struck. Phone lines were also down.

The province set up relief centres at the municipality hall and tambon auditoriums. Residents were called in to tend to the wounded.

Traffic in Phuket was paralysed after a power cut. Reports of theft and looting emerged after home and shop-owners fled to higher ground. People scurried with their personal belongings to hilltop lookout points after the Meteorological Department warned of high tides which could develop into advancing tidal waves.

On Koh Phi Phi, navy helicopters airlifted stranded tourists to safety. The waves razed bungalows to the ground.

The Third Fleet sent warships to evacuate people from Phi Phi and Samui islands and Khao Lak in Phangnga.

Seaside villages in Phangnga were full of people in distress. Distraught villagers yelled out the names of missing loved ones. A sleepy fishing village with 53 households near Pakarang cape in Takua Pa district was wiped out.

Felled power lines obstructed main roads to the southern seaboard. Beachside tourist attractions including Tab Tawan, Bang Sak and Bang Niang were damaged and authorities were trying to get to remote areas in which tourists could be trapped.

In Ranong, relief works were hampered by warnings of further tidal waves. Most casualties were reported in Suk Samrang sub-district and Kaper district.

Fisherman Vinai Sampao-ngern, of tambon Kampuan, said he was laying fish nets close to shore when the sea became murky. A gigantic wave curled up in front of him and sank his boat.

He swam to shore but one of his crewmen went missing. "It happened so fast, only three minutes," he said.

Bundit Rattanasombat, Ranong deputy governor, said many people had disappeared and basic necessities were being distributed to the needy.

About 40 shuttle boats capsized and scores of tourists were missing in Krabi, said Chakkrit Serinonchai, acting chief of Nopparat Thara national park.

Four boats ferrying almost 500 tourists from Krabi to Phi Phi Island lost contact with port.

The owner of two resorts on Phi Phi island said 200 of his bungalows were swept out to sea, along with some employees and customers.

"I am afraid that there will be a high figure of foreigners missing in the sea, and also my staff," said Chan Marongtaechar, who was in Bangkok at the time. He believed 700 people could have perished.

Mr Chan said his remaining employees told him by telephone they were scared and wanted to leave, but the waters were too rough for boats.



In Trang, military transport vehicles were used to move residents in Pak Meng beach in Si Khao district. Fishing trawlers and ferry boats plying offshore islands of Koh Kradan in Kantang district and Koh Libong in Palian district sank.

About 50 tourists were stuck in the famed Morakot cave on Muk Island. Choppy seas stopped evacuation crew from getting into the cave.

Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyurapan said more than 100 teams of medics sent from southern provinces were sent to offer help. Doctors were flown by helicopter to islands to treat the injured on the spot.


The ferry boats from Krabi to Phuket are large, there is one that sunk off by Phi Phi that I have dove several times. At that time of the day there were probably 20 or so scuba boats out in between Phuket and Krabi and out to the Similan Islands.


30 posted on 12/26/2004 10:31:53 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never see myself in the mirror with my eyes closed)
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To: Central Scrutiniser

On the positive side, the Thai response from the military and medical communities has been quite good by all indications here in Thailand. On the negative, the news is reporting 1902 more deaths in Pang Nga changwhatand there is still only cursory reports from the Similian Islands. the photos are so sad. The family structure is so strong and children so valued in average families here. Hard to see the dead children particularly.


31 posted on 12/26/2004 10:36:15 PM PST by JimSEA ( "More Bush, Less Taxes.")
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Great explanation of how the event happens:

Verticle Slice Through A
Subduction Zone

Between Earthquakes
[ slow distortion ]
During An Earthquake
[ quake starts tsunami ]
Minutes Later
[ tsunami waves spread ]
One of the many
tectonic plates that make
up the Earth's outer shell descends, or "subducts,"
under an adjacent plate.
This kind of boundary
between plates is called a "subduction zone."
When the plates move
suddenly in an area where
they are usualy stuck, an earthquake happens.
Stuck to the subducting
plate, the overriding
plate gets squeezed.
Its leading edge is dragged down, while an area
behind it bulges upward.
This movement goes on for decades or centuries, slowly building up stress.
An earthquake along a subduction zone happens when the leading edge of
the overriding plate breaks free and springs seaward, raising the sea floor and
the water above it.
This uplift starts a tsunami. Meanwhile, the bulge behind the leading edge collapses, thinning the plate and lowering coastal areas
.
Part of the tsunami races toward nearby land,
growing taller as it comes close to shore.
Another part heads
accross the ocean
toward distant shores.
This explains how a
tsunami may occure many hundreds of miles from where it originates.
<

______________________________________________________________

Click her for above detail and much more

32 posted on 12/26/2004 10:36:57 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Would this have been considered a warning.

December 23, 2004

Biggest Earthquake of Year Shakes Ocean Floor Off New Zealand

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.1, the year's strongest, shook the ocean floor today about 1,000 miles southwest of New Zealand, with the potential to release tsunamis that were unlikely to reach Pacific coastlines.

The quake struck about 1:59 a.m. at the epicenter and was the first this year to exceed a magnitude of 8. An 8.1 quake in Mexico City in 1985 killed about 9,500 people and left extensive damage.

``This was a strike-slip earthquake, where two plates move sideways to each other, as opposed to colliding head on,'' research geophysicist Stuart Sipkin said of the Pacific quake by telephone from Golden, Colorado, at the U.S. Geological Survey. A sideways quake limits the extent of tsunamis, Sipkin said.

The U.S. government's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on its Web site that ``widely destructive'' tsunamis from the quake were possible in the open ocean.

The nearest human outpost is MacQuarie Island, a small, rocky isle 305 miles to the south that Australian researchers share with seals. Today's quake was located at 50.24 degrees south latitude, 160.13 degrees east longitude.

The quake occurred about six miles below the seafloor, according to the U.S. quake center's analysis. The next largest quake in 2004 was a magnitude 7.5 temblor that struck eastern Indonesia on Nov. 11, killing 23 people and leaving almost 8,000 homeless, according to the national government.

33 posted on 12/26/2004 10:40:26 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: JimSEA

I haven't seen any photos from Krabi and Ao Nang and Ralay beach, not much news from there.

As far as the Thai military and medical, I agree, vastly superior to any country that was hit. I notice very little info from Burma, understandable as it is such a corrupt dictatorship.

Where do you live in Thailand? I've been considering moving there for a few months between jobs, I've been there 5 time in the last few years, and it is heaven.


34 posted on 12/26/2004 10:40:40 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never see myself in the mirror with my eyes closed)
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To: brigette; TexKat

See post #32.


35 posted on 12/26/2004 10:41:23 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That green is blinding for us that have poor eyesight.


36 posted on 12/26/2004 10:41:30 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: TexKat
I am not trained in the earth Science professions,....but I don't think there is a way to tie the two events together....

Plate tectonics seem to move independently....sort of....

37 posted on 12/26/2004 10:46:43 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27886-2004Dec26.html

This latest earthquake apparently broke along a 600-mile section of the Sumatran "subduction zone," starting just north of where Sieh does his research. A subduction zone is a plate boundary where a slab of the Earth's crust surges downward beneath another slab.

"I worry about my segment of the subduction zone," he said. "My section of the subduction zone is still locked, as far as I know."

Along the curving western coast of the Indonesian archipelago, the piece of crust known as the India plate is sinking beneath another expanse of crust called the Burma plate. This process of subduction isn't smooth. It happens violently, joltingly, sometimes here and sometimes there, occasionally prefigured by a less powerful quake (a 7.7 magnitude event occurred in the same area near Sumatra two years ago), but usually without any obvious hint that a disaster is in the offing.


38 posted on 12/26/2004 10:47:35 PM PST by stlnative
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To: TexKat

I have seen alot of terrible things, and this is not any worse than others except for the numbers involved. Nonetheless, I am physically weakened by these scenes. I want to rush into my computer's eyeworld and perform CPR on the spot. I know it would do no good. It shouldn't be that so many, so young, have perished.

Peace little children. Go in peace.


39 posted on 12/26/2004 10:48:44 PM PST by Greenpees (Coulda Shoulda Woulda)
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To: TexKat

Take the link it is more readable there.


40 posted on 12/26/2004 10:49:47 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: brigette; TexKat
Nice site on plate tectonics:

Plate Tectonics

The theory of plate tectonics has done for geology what Charles Darwin's theory of evolution did for biology. It provides geology with a comprehensive theory that explains "how the Earth works." The theory was formulated in the 1960s and 1970s as new information was obtained about the nature of the ocean floor, Earth's ancient magnetism, the distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes, the flow of heat from Earth's interior, and the worldwide distribution of plant and animal fossils.

Graphic of the World's plates at the link.....

41 posted on 12/26/2004 10:55:53 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

You just have to read this one...

Waves that bring death faster than a jumbo jet
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=596140

Here is some of it...

They believe the earthquake occurred as a result of a massive ground slip near a geological fault on the seafloor called the Java Trench, an underwater canyon that extends from northern Australia in the south to the Andaman islands in the north.

The Java Trench was created by a geological process called subduction, a zone where two of the Earth's tectonic plates collide. In this case, the Indian-Australian tectonic plate is "subducting", or slipping under the Eurasian plate, at a rate of about 2.5 inches (6cm) a year.

The tsunamis yesterday were probably caused by sudden movements of the seafloor which raised or lowered the entire water column above. It is also possible, however, that they were caused by a gigantic underwater landslide.

A sudden raising or lowering of the seafloor would have generated great amounts of potential energy as a result of the vertical displacement of deep-water columns.


42 posted on 12/26/2004 10:56:10 PM PST by stlnative
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

You just have to read this one...

Waves that bring death faster than a jumbo jet
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=596140

Here is some of it...

They believe the earthquake occurred as a result of a massive ground slip near a geological fault on the seafloor called the Java Trench, an underwater canyon that extends from northern Australia in the south to the Andaman islands in the north.

The Java Trench was created by a geological process called subduction, a zone where two of the Earth's tectonic plates collide. In this case, the Indian-Australian tectonic plate is "subducting", or slipping under the Eurasian plate, at a rate of about 2.5 inches (6cm) a year.

The tsunamis yesterday were probably caused by sudden movements of the seafloor which raised or lowered the entire water column above. It is also possible, however, that they were caused by a gigantic underwater landslide.

A sudden raising or lowering of the seafloor would have generated great amounts of potential energy as a result of the vertical displacement of deep-water columns.


43 posted on 12/26/2004 10:57:25 PM PST by stlnative
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To: Central Scrutiniser

Local TV is showing pictures from all over except the small islands like the Similian national park. Krapi looks to have been about as hard hit as Puket. Pang Nga probably looks worse due to the fact that it is a river delta and the waves went so far inland, destroying villages and farms. Luckily, we live in the North near Chiang Mai, so no local effect at all. The Gulf of Thailand, including Ko Samui, Ko Chang, Hua Hin, etc. were all spared by being on the opposite side of the penninsula from the quake.


44 posted on 12/26/2004 11:00:15 PM PST by JimSEA ( "More Bush, Less Taxes.")
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To: Texas_Jarhead; TexKat

Here's an article published 12-25-04 (coincidentally) about a recent discovery on Tsunamis.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1308869/posts


45 posted on 12/26/2004 11:01:24 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: Central Scrutiniser
I haven't seen any photos from Krabi and Ao Nang and Ralay beach, not much news from there.

392 dead, 3,000 injured by tidal waves in Thailand

At least 392 people were killed and 3,000 injured by tidal waves in southern Thailand, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Phang Nga province was the worst hit with 181 reported dead. Some 130 were killed in the resort island of Phuket, 45 died in neighbouring Krabi and 25 were killed in Ranong.

Seven were killed in Satun province and four in Trang province, the ministry's disaster unit said.

Thai villagers look at their fishing boats piled up after being destroyed in Krabi, southern Thailand, a day after a tidal wave devastated the coastline(AFP/Roslan Rahman)

A boy is carried by a Thai rescue worker after being evacuated from Krabi in Southern Thailand. A Melbourne teenager with Downs Syndrome and four other Australians were missing after tidal waves triggered by a massive earthquake swept across southeast Asia, killing more than 14,000 people.(AFP/Roslan Rahman)

A family is reunited following their rescue and evacuation from Krabi, in southern Thailand, a day after a tidal wave devastated the coastline(AFP/Roslan Rahman)

Indonesian Earthquake, Waves Kill 14,000 Across Asia (Update4)

``We're still missing about 10 or 20 people who were out on the islands,'' said Giancarlo Giacomelli, an Italian, 29, who is room division manager at Phra Nang Inn, a hotel at Ao Nang beach, 25 kilometers from Krabi, which sustained limited damage. ``One huge wave came in. It was the time when people were going to the islands. Many of the boats went under water and some people died.

46 posted on 12/26/2004 11:03:33 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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To: getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL; Mo1; null and void
"that the wave traveled at a speed of 500 m.p.h.."

I can't even imagine that!

Ping!

47 posted on 12/26/2004 11:04:52 PM PST by sweetliberty (Just because we CAN do something, doesn't mean we should.)
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To: JimSEA

I flew in to Samui the day after thanksgiving, we had just dodged a typhoon.

I haven't been to Chiang Mai yet, everyone tells me I must go, maybe next trip, along with a trip to Luang Prabang in Laos.

Just heard, the King's grandson did in fact die, that's gonna be big.


48 posted on 12/26/2004 11:05:23 PM PST by Central Scrutiniser (I'll never see myself in the mirror with my eyes closed)
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To: TexKat

Fox just said that more tsunamis are likely to hit Sri Lanka in the next few hours.

Article also on Aus. ABC news online, although not as 'hard' on the potential timeline of when.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1272785.htm

India, Sri Lanka warn of more tsunamis
Indian and Sri Lankan meteorologists have warned that more tsunamis could strike the south Asian coast over the next couple of days.

However, the Indian Meteorological Department's deputy director-general in Madras, S Sridharan, says the coming tsunamis will be smaller than the giant wave that killed thousands around Asia.

"Like a ripple, the tsunami will only die down gradually and so we expect more waves before they slowly subside over the next 24-48 hours," Mr Sridharan said.

Any further tsunamis were expected to be no more than half the size of Sunday's wave that officials estimate killed about 4,600 people in India.

Police have blocked some coastal roads in a bid to prevent further casualties from any more high seas.

Sri Lanka's National Meteorological Centre says it has detected tremors near the Indonesian island of Sumatra and has warned that more small tsunamis are on their way.

"Small tsunamis will hit the southern and eastern coastlines in the next few hours," said meteorolgist Ajith Weerawardena.

"We are expecting heavy rains along the northern and eastern coastline, starting tonight. This is bad news for rescue efforts," he added, advising against travel on coastal routes.


49 posted on 12/26/2004 11:05:26 PM PST by mfccinsd
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To: mfccinsd

Thanks for the info and link mfccinsd.


50 posted on 12/26/2004 11:11:30 PM PST by TexKat (Just because you did not see it or read it, that does not mean it did or did not happen.)
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