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Six Months Later: Remembering the Southeast Asian Tsunami
Jon Lebkowsky, 15 Jun 05

sri_lanka_tsunami.jpgThe Southeast Asian Tsunami last December was a global rather than regional experience, thanks to the proliferation of new media and information technologies and the character of the sites affected. Because many of the sites included resorts at peak vacation time, there were many people with video and still cameras on had to capture images and sounds of the disaster. Most of us had never seen, and will never see, a tsunami up close, but we've seen clear and compelling images of this tsunami, and its immediate aftermath. We saw that a tsunami that was not a towering wave but a powerful, unstoppable surge of sea water forced ashore by tectonic trauma deep in the ocean. Within a few hours we understood the scope of the tragedy, and many of us who've made writing and publishing online part of our everyday routine collected and reported tsunami news, and a coalition of bloggers across the globe started tracking and reporting relief efforts, having a significant impact on the substantial and relatively fast response in providing aid to tsunami survivors.

A group of bloggers in the region, including WorldChangers Rohit Gupta and Dina Mehta, created the South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog within hours after the tsunami struck. They assessed early reports from the region, and listed relief efforts and targets for donations. A blogger known as Morquendi (television producer Sanjay Senanayake), on the ground in Sri Lanka, sent reports via text messaging from his cellphone to be blogged by his colleagues at Chien(ne)s Sans Frontieres. They set up a missing persons page at Flickr and a wiki for collaborative gathering and editing of resource information. Meanwhile here at WorldChanging we posted reports and updates beginning the morning after, with several other pieces, including a summary report on December 27.

Of the several tsunami-related posts here in late December, the most relevant to the WorldChanging charter was Alex's post on December 29, "Beyond Relief":

What if didn't just do something to help, but did the right things, and did them fully? What if we looked at this relief and reconstruction effort as a chance to not only save lives (and of course that must come first) but to truly rebuild coastal Southeast Asia along more sustainably prosperous lines? What if we made the commitment to take what are now some of the most ravaged, destitute areas on Earth, and worked with the people there to reimagine and rebuild their communities to be the cutting edge of sustainable development?

What if we made not just relief but rebirth the new measure of our success?
Architecture for Humanity and WorldChanging partnered to raise money for reconstruction, and that reconstruction effort is under way (photos from Kirinda, Sri Lankahere and Pottuvil, Sri Lanka here.

The response to the tragedy and chaos following the Southeast Asian Tsunami was truly Worldchanging. We activated dormant circuits and connections, taking the global network to a new level where inherent possibilities for collaboration were manifest and made real. Going forward we can hope to evolve systems that are more proactive, including a pervasive, accessible global communications environment.

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You forgot one of your own posts, and one of Dawn's posts. Here they are:

Alert Retrieval Cache (ARC)
and this. The latter has since evolved into something else.

Posted by: Taran on 16 Jun 05



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