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Tsunami Summary, Day Two
Jon Lebkowsky, 28 Dec 04

Again, we're going to update this page throughout the day with news and information related to the earthquakes and tsunamis in South and South-East Asia. If you have information we should include, please send us a suggestion.

First of all, if you're looking for news on how to help, your first stop should be TsunamiHelp (full disclosure: Worldchangers Dina Mehta and Rohit Gupta are part of that team).

As of 6:00 a.m. pacific time, the confirmed death toll was 36,946, with officials fearing at least 57,000 killed. Others, however, are speculating that the actual death toll may exceed 100,000. ((Update: confirmed death toll as of noon, Pacific time, is over 60,000. 110,000 now feared dead.))

Bloggers are playing a key role in mobilizing public opinion to support disaster relief.

And a good thing too. This tragedy is not ending with those killed by falling buildings and surging waves. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost literally everything they had, and millions more (how many millions, we're still unsure) have been made homeless. Famine is real and present danger. Epidemic disease outbreaks are feared -- particularly cholera and dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis.

This is expected to be the largest relief effort ever undertaken. Aid agencies expect a Herculean task. The task will be made more difficult by the fact that many of the region's coastal airstrips, roads, rails, hospitals, local government buildings and most of its communications infrastructure have been totally destroyed, as a Care representative explained on the News Hour With Jim Lehrer last night

"A lot of these areas are very rural, very isolated, small villages. And those are going to be the most difficult; particularly as a lot of the infrastructure has also been washed away, air strips and roads. It is going to become more and more difficult to just get in there and get some of the most basic supplies to people."

In a cheerful little extra disaster, landmines are expected to be a special threat in Sri Lanka:

“Mines were floated by the floods and washed out of known mine fields, so now we don't know where they are, and the warning signs on mined areas have been swept away or destroyed,” UNICEF's Ted Chaiban said from the agency's office in Colombo"

More here below, and on the front page, as the day's news develops.

(Ongoing disaster news out of Thailand; hundreds dead in Somalia, reports say; the disaster in pictures)


Feedster - loads of blogs listed talking about the disaster :

Updates From Ethan:

  • Jeff Ooi (who is doing amazing work, blogging about this from Malaysia) points to a CNN piece
    that points out that Myanmar has twice the coastline of Thailand and lots of coastal and riverside villages - it seems almost impossible that Thailand has a death toll of 2,000 and Myanmar has only 50. Speculation is that the death toll in Myanmar is much higher, but the outside world may never hear about it.

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