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Tsunamis overtakes 8 Countries

SRC

Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants won'
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I just saw on the news (2 channels) that there was a HUGE earthquake in the ocean outside Thailand..it caused a massive tital wave that swept over Thailand, Malaysia, and 6 other countries.

It was reported that it came to land at a speed of 200mph..yes 200 mph. :crazy:

  taken from www.AL.com

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Families reunite after Thailand tsunami
12/26/2004, 9:58 p.m. CT
By ALISA TANG
The Associated Press   

PHUKET, Thailand (AP) — A large billboard of Thailand's king, split into pieces, lay in a heap Monday, facing the destruction on this beach in the aftermath of the earthquake-induced tidal wave that turned the area's bar-lined beach into a pile of broken sticks.

Families and friends, separated by the waves, had tearful reunions after a day of fear that their loved ones had been swept away on this normally idyllic island and international resort.

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 island's popular Patong beach with her family. The wave washed over their heads and separated them, and they found each other two hours later.

Julie Robertson, 34, of Brisbane, Australia, found her mother, sister and friend Monday morning and screamed in relief upon seeing them at the Amari Hotel on Patong beach. "I'm upset, but I'm happy," said Robertson.

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.

A monk collecting alms, curious foreign tourists and onlookers walked among the debris on the beach, where one car was stacked on top of another, and upended beach chairs lined the roads and storefronts for a few hundred yards inland. Among the first items set upright were toppled Buddhist statues.

Greg Miller, 55, of Honolulu, Hawaii, said when he felt the earthquake from his beachfront guesthouse room, he knew from experience at home to immediately look at the ocean for signs of what was to come.

"I finally got a car and managed to get into the hills. I called my friend and warned him not to come, but he drove down here anyway. His car was swept up by the water into the hills, flipping over four times on the way," Miller said of his friend who survived.

Tinsel holiday garlands swung from wrecked bars and stores. There were "Merry Christmas" signs on the walls that remained standing, and on one beach front steak house, a festive foil banner read only "Happy New" with the third word dangling loosely from the awning.

There was no looting seen as police blocked off some streets from pedestrians and cars but many shopkeepers spent the night in their stores just in case.

John Krueger, 34, of Winter Park, Colo., 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.

He said he was sucked 8-10 feet under the water, and his wife was dragged out into the ocean for more than an hour until a wave brought her back to land again. He nearly tore his little finger in half when breaking through the roof, and his wife broke her nose, her foot and suffered scratches all over her body.

"It was like white water rafting. ... She was naked on the beach because she had just gotten out of the shower. It was like being in a washing machine," Krueger said.

taken from www.theage.com
Tsunami leaves 12,600 dead
December 27, 2004 - 3:04PM

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Soldiers searched for bodies in treetops, families wept over the dead lined up on beaches and rescuers scoured coral isles for missing tourists as Asia counted the cost of tsunami waves that killed at least 12,600.

Worst hit were Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand.

No Australians were reported dead. But six were listed as missing - three in Thailand, two in Indonesia and one in Sri Lanka.

An international aid efforts was being mounted as thousands of people fled the catastrophe, among the evacuees were thousands of Australian tourists.

The death toll is expected to rise.

Australia pledged an initial aid donation of $A10 million.

Idyllic palm-fringed beaches across southern Asia were transformed into scenes of death and devastation by the waves unleashed by the world's biggest earthquake in 40 years that struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

One seismologist likened the power of the massive 9 quake to a million atomic bombs the size of those dropped on Japan in World War II, and said the shaking had been so powerful it even disturbed the Earth's rotation.

Waves were monitored in waters off eastern Africa and even on the coast of Western Australia.

There was no warning as much of the Indian Ocean is not covered by an international tsunami alert system.

"Death came from the sea," said Satya Kumari, a construction worker living on the outskirts of the former French enclave of Pondicherry, India. "The waves just kept chasing us. It swept away all our huts. What did we do to deserve this?"

The wall of water up to 10 metres tall flattened houses, hurled fishing boats onto coastal roads, sent cars spinning through swirling waters into hotel lobbies and sucked sunbathers and fishermen off beaches and out to sea.

"We have never known a disaster like this," Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who declared a national disaster and appealed for donor aid, said from holiday in Britain.

It was the worst natural disaster to hit Sri Lanka in recorded history.

Officials placed the death toll at 4,500 and said that figure could rise substantially as troops recovered bodies dragged out to sea or smashed on golden beaches.

Indonesian soldiers searched for bodies in tree tops and in the wreckage of homes smashed by the tsunami, triggered by the earthquake that struck off the coast of northern Sumatra island killing at least 4,448 people there.

Many of the dead were children and elderly who drowned in waters churning with huge rocks, logs and the remains of homes.

"It smells so bad, fishy. The human bodies are mixed in with dead animals like dogs, fish, cats and goats," said marine colonel Buyung Lelana, head of an evacuation team in Lhokseumawe in Sumatra's Aceh province.

"There are still a lot of bodies under the wreckage of collapsed houses and in rivers and swamps that we have not yet evacuated. Most of them are children and their mothers," he said.

The quake itself also destroyed buildings in Indonesia's Aceh province.

International aid agencies rushed staff, equipment and money to the region, warning that bodies rotting in the water were already beginning to threaten the water supply for survivors.

The Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was seeking $US6.5 million ($A8.48 million) for emergency aid funding.

"Many of the dead bodies were found in houses. Their heads were cracked, probably battered by rocks," said Mustofa, mayor of Bireuen regency on the north coast of Sumatra.

Hundreds of thousands left homeless in Sri Lanka and fearing another devastating wave sheltered in temples and schools.

In the seaside town of Kalutara, holidaymakers staying at a seafront luxury hotel described a 2.5-metre wall of water crashing onto the coast.

"We were sitting by the water when people started shouting a wave was coming in," said visiting British car salesman Richard Freeman. "We left everything behind and ran inside."

The southern coastal town of Galle, a major industrial hub famed for its historic fort, was submerged by a nine-metre wave.

Frightened residents spent the night on roofs.

Officials said more than 500,000 people were left homeless.

On India's south-east coast, thousands of villagers huddled inside emergency shelters, too scared to sleep in case of another tsunami. Up to 3,300 people have been reported dead in the area.

"I could see dead bodies all around and the devastation is of colossal proportions," Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa said after touring the worst hit areas of her state.

Rows and rows of dead bodies were lined up on the floor inside hospitals, in corridors and in the grounds of government buildings. Distraught mothers checked the bodies of young boys and girls looking for their missing children.

"I have been waiting for my husband and brother since yesterday," wept 38-year-old Narasamma as she stood on a beach near Mypadu, a fishing hamlet 600 km south of Hyderabad, capital of southern Andhra Pradesh state.

"I am not sure they will come back as I can see wrecked boats floating in the water," she said. On the horizon, the wreckage of wooden fishing boats dotted the sea.

The tourist islands and beaches of southern Thailand were directly in the path of the wave that had killed up to 400. On the main Patong tourist beach in Phuket, plastic chairs lay scattered, hotels and restaurants were wrecked and small speed boats had been rammed into buildings. "I was sitting on the first floor of a bar, not far from the beach, watching cricket," said Australian tourist, Stephen Dicks, 42. "And suddenly all these people came screaming from the beach.

"I looked around and saw a massive wall of water rushing down the street. It completely wiped out the ground floor of my bar ... It happened very fast, in a matter of minutes."

In Los Angeles, the head of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said US officials who detected the undersea quake tried frantically to get a warning out about the tsunami.

But there was no official alert system in the region, said Charles McCreery, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's centre in Honolulu.

"It took an hour and a half for the wave to get from the earthquake to Sri Lanka and an hour for it to get ... to the west coast of Thailand and Malaysia," he said.

"We tried to do what we could. We don't have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world," he said.

The earthquake was the world's biggest since 1964 and the fourth-largest since 1900.

The tsunami was so powerful it smashed boats and flooded areas along the east African coast, 6,000 km away.

In the Maldives, where thousands of foreign visitors were holidaying in the beach paradise, damage appeared to be limited.

With communications cut to remote areas, it was impossible to assess the full scale of the disaster, aid agencies said.

The Indian air force was trying to reach the remote Nicobar and Andaman archipelagos near the heart of the quake.

The United States said it would offer "all appropriate assistance". The European Union pledged $US4 million ($A5.22 million)).

A tsunami, a Japanese word that translates as "harbour wave", is usually caused by a sudden rise or fall of part of the earth's crust under or near the ocean.

It is not a single wave, but a series of waves that can travel across the ocean at speeds of more than 800km an hour. As the tsunami enters the shallows of coastlines in its path, its velocity slows but its height increases.

taken from www.thestar.co
Monday, December 27, 2004
Japan sends disaster relief team, medical supplies to Sri Lanka

TOKYO (AP) - Japan sent a disaster relief team to Sri Lanka on Monday to provide aid and support to residents in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake and tsunami waves that hit southern and southeast Asia.

The 21-person delegation, which includes doctors, nurses and diplomats, took medical supplies and drinking water as well as tents to temporarily accommodate up to 1,000 people, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake, centered off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, caused massive tidal waves to pummel coastlines in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Maldives.

An estimated 11,600 people are believed to have been killed by the waves.

Separately on Monday, Japan's Red Cross Society announced plans to provide 100 million yen (US$965,000; euro713,000) to pay for relief efforts in the disaster-hit areas. - AP

taken from www.thestaronline.com
Monday, December 27, 2004
Indons comb seaside for survivors and victims of tsunami strike

Earthquake, floods kill more than 4,400 in LHOKSEUMAWE, Indonesia (AP) - Thousands of soldiers combed seaside villages in northwestern Indonesia on Monday for victims and survivors from a massive undersea earthquake and tidal waves that killed at least 4,448 people and left more than a million homeless, officials said.

Most of the death and destruction occurred in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra Island.

Villages along the coast were flattened by tidal waves triggered by Sunday's quake and floodwaters that surged as far as 10 kilometers (6 miles) inland.

"We have ordered 15,000 troops into the field to search for survivors,'' said military spokesman Edy Sulistiadi. "They are mostly retrieving corpses.''

At least 3,000 of the 4,448 people who died in that province were killed in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, either from flooding or quake damage, Health Ministry official Pitoyo said.

Eighty-three were killed in neighboring north Sumatra province and on the island of Nias, to the west of Sumatra close and the nearest land to the epicenter of the 9.0-magnitude quake, said Pitoyo, who goes by a single name.

Communication links to several regions in Aceh were still cut off some 24 hours after the quake struck, raising fears that the death toll would rise further.

Tens of thousands of people fled their homes after the earthquake, the most powerful in 40 years, sent massive tidal waves slamming into coastlines across Asia.

More than 11,600 people died in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Thailand, the Maldives, Somalia and Bangladesh.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was in Papua province visiting the victims of an earthquake there earlier this month, declared three days of national mourning.

He was scheduled to visit Aceh province, which is home to 4.3 million people, later Monday.

Aceh has been hit by separatist violence for 26 years, and Jakarta has prevented foreign journalists and international aid agency representatives from visiting the region for more than a year.

It appeared likely the restrictions on international aid workers would be lifted to allow emergency supplies to be sent to the province.

"The military will support the distribution of foreign aid in Aceh and allow foreign workers and journalists into the province as long as the government approves it,'' said military Col. Achmad Yani Basuki. - AP

taken from www.thestaronline.com
Monday, December 27, 2004
Fresh tremor hits India after tidal waves kill nearly 2,300

CUDDALORE, India (AP) - A fresh tremor hit Indian islands far off the country's eastern coast Monday, a day after massive waves triggered by an undersea quake killed at least 2,284 people in India.

Unofficial reports by private Aaj Tak television channel put the overall death toll in India as high as 3,300.

The temblor at daybreak Monday in the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal had an initial magnitude of 6.0, said Jaya Chandran of the New Delhi-based Indian Meteorology Department.

Details on casualties and damage from the latest quake were not immediately known, the official said.

India was trying to recover Monday from the massive waves unleashed the previous day by the world's biggest quake in 40 years, a 9.0-magnitude quake off Indonesia.

The government sent food and generators to coastal areas devastated by tidal waves, searched for survivors and told fisherman not to go to sea for two more days.

Official tallies of deaths in Indian states totaled 2,284, with the waves killing 1,705 people in Tamil Nadu state, 300 people in Bay of Bengal islands, 116 in Kerala state 102 people in the federal territory of Pondicherry, and 61 in Andhra Pradesh state.

Tamil Nadu was the worst affected, with waves sweeping away boats, homes and vehicles, said the state's top elected official, Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa.

"It's an extraordinary calamity of such colossal proportions that the damage has been unprecedented,'' she said in a statement.

"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.

She said the "extremely high death toll in the space of a few minutes'' shows clearly that it is one of the worst calamities to hit the country.

Tamil Nadu's beaches resembled open-air mortuaries as fishermen's bodies washed ashore, and retreating waters left behind others killed inland. At least 200 people died in Tamil Nadu's capital, Madras, alone.

Seawater flooded the streets of Cuddalore town, flipping over dozens of cars and leaving some vehicles perched atop road dividers.

Many cars were seen floating in the streets like boats.

"My heart goes out in sympathy to all those families who have lost their dear ones due to this tragedy,'' Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a televised statement.

Residents of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh state spoke of 12-foot (four-meter) walls of water slamming into the shore.

"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, who lives in Andhra Pradesh's Kakinada town.

The Indian air force was sent out to drop food packets, medicines and diesel generating sets in the affected areas, Cabinet Secretary B. K. Chaturvedi told reporters. - AP

Earlier reports

CUDDALORE, India (AP) - The children laughed and ran past the colorful festoons and paintings on the walls as they played hide-and-seek. In a corner, old men and women wailed with swollen eyes.

Hours after a deadly tidal wave struck this tiny southern Indian town Sunday, dozens of parents sitting in the hall knew something their children did not: Families, homes, boats, and toys - everything they had - had been wiped out in a few minutes.

Now survivors from fishing villages were brought here to this sprawling, decorated hall normally used for wedding receptions, as relief volunteers struggled to rush food to the area.

Those who were lucky got bed sheets to spread on the floor; others slept on the concrete.

The now morbid town of Cuddalore is located in the worst-hit Tamil Nadu state, where more than 1,700 people died Sunday.

Across southern India some 2,300 people died.

The death toll stood at more than 11,600 across devastated South and Southeast Asia, after the largest earthquake in 40 years unleashed massive tsunamis.

Most of the dead in Cuddalore were poor people.

Ananda Selvi, 30, waited for her husband as the waves came in. Sudhakar Selvi went fishing earlier in the day.

"I didn't know whether to look toward the sea for my husband, or to run away to save myself,'' she said.

"Then I ran and ran and ran, and now here I am, without any word of him.''

Outside the marriage hall, fire engine sirens whined at regular intervals.

At the site where columns of water slammed in, broken boats lay on the shore near smashed huts with only frail bamboo frames jutting out of the ground.

"We ran in all directions,'' said Tamilarasi, a 47-year-old woman with eyes red and swollen from crying for hours. She said she lost five relatives, including two grandsons, and a fishing boat.

"When the wave receded, some people were sucked in,'' she said.

"Others ran away. Some people climbed on coconut trees. I got hold of two children who were near me, and started running. When we were on dry ground, we realised some of us were missing.''

Andhra Pradesh state to the north, tidal waves as high as coconut trees washed away hundreds of small fishing boats.

"It was a pleasant bright sunny morning and we were looking forward to a very good day,'' said 45-year-old fisherman Giri Prasad.

"But it turned out to be the most frightening day of my life.''

On Manginapudi beach in Machlipatnam town, bodies of women and children lay strewn on the sand.

They were part of a group of Hindu devotees who had come to the sea to bathe on the occasion of the auspicious full moon day.

Survivors did all they could to save the stricken.

Some pushed hard on their stomachs to expel the water; others just picked up the lifeless bodies and ran, trying to get someplace where the victims could be saved. - AP

taken from www.thestaronline.com
Monday, December 27, 2004
25,000 troops deliver aid after tidal waves in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Ten helicopters and 25,000 soldiers rushed Monday to coastal Sri Lanka to deliver aid and deter looting in areas lashed by massive tidal waves.

At least 4,500 people were killed, a million were displaced, and 200 inmates escaped from a prison, government and Tamil rebel reports said.

The waves were unleashed by Sunday's 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia, the world's largest in 40 years.

"We are now all involved in relief and rehabilitation after this huge tragedy,'' Lalith Weerathunga, the secretary to the prime minister, said Monday.

Helicopters were dropping rescue teams and medicine to areas not accessible by land, while soldiers worked to maintain order and help with the rescue efforts.

A curfew was imposed on two towns to stop looting, military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said.

"It is a national disaster and the army is responding,'' Ranayake said.

"They are helping the local authorities in whatever way they can.''

There was sporadic, small-scale looting in the towns of Galle and Matara, said a police official in Colombo.

About 200 inmates escaped from a Matara prison, taking advantage of the chaos when guards panicked after watered entered the building, the police official said.

Police Chief Chandra Fernando said at least 3,000 people were dead in areas under government control.

One million people were displaced, the prime minister's secretary said.

In areas held by Tamil Tiger rebels, which were not inaccessible to officials of the central government, pro-rebel Web sites reported that at least 1,500 people were killed and many more missing.

The pro-rebel www.nitharsanam.com Web site reported about 1,500 bodies were brought from various parts of Sri Lanka's northeast to a hospital in Mullaithivu district, 275 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo.

About 170 children at an orphanage and a Catholic priest were feared dead after tidal waves pounded it in Mullaithivu, the Web site said.

TamilNet - another pro-rebel Web site - said as many as 2,000 people were feared killed in the Tamil regions.

The tidal waves have badly affected naval bases in the east and south, Navy Spokesman Commodore Jayantha Perera told the state-run Daily News.

He said a naval ship anchored at the Galle port in the south was topped by the tidal waves.

It was not immediately known what type of ship it was.

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Tamil Tiger guerrillas have sought international help to provide relief to those affected. - AP

taken from www.thestaronline.com
Monday, December 27, 2004
At least six Aussies missing in areas devastated by tsunamis

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - At least six Australians were missing Monday in areas swamped a day earlier by devastating tsunami waves triggered by the biggest earthquake in 40 years, the government said.

Officials in Canberra believe up to 4,000 Australians were on vacation or living in the areas hit by Sunday's earthquake off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island and tidal waves it generated.

At least 11,300 people were killed in eight countries in southern Asia.

By Monday morning, more than 18,000 people had called a hot line set up in Australia for relatives of people traveling in the affected areas seeking information on their loved ones.

The government also issued a warning for travelers not to fly to areas hit by the tsunamis in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer pledged 10 million Australian dollars (US$7.7 million; euro5.69 million) to international aid agencies coordinating relief efforts.

"There hasn't been an earthquake of this kind in the region for 40 years or a tsunami of this kind for 40 years,'' Downer told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

He said the six missing Australians included three in Phuket, two in Indonesia and one in Sri Lanka.

Western Australian state lawmaker John Hyde, who was staying in Phuket when the tsunamis hit, said the main tourist strip was a scene of "absolute desolation'' after it was hit by two huge waves.

"All of a sudden, just out of nowhere, a massive wall of water came through,'' Hyde told Australian television's Seven network.

"There are cars jammed inside buildings - just the force of it when it hit that initial beach front must have been amazing to have been able to wedge cars into coconut trees,'' he said.

Although Australia has thousands of kilometers (miles) of coast facing the Indian Ocean, the country was largely unaffected by the tsunamis that wreaked devastation in nations including India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Cocos Islands, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, was hit by a half-meter wave Sunday but it did not cause any damage, authorities said.

There were reports of higher than usual tides on the coast of Western Australia state, where emergency services were put on alert Sunday afternoon, but there were no immediate reports of them causing major damage. - AP

taken from www.thestaronline.com
Monday, December 27, 2004
One of the world's strongest quakes ever

Sunday's earthquake off Sumatra had a preliminary magnitude of 9.0, classifying it as a great quake and making it the strongest in 40 years.

Earthquakes near the very top of the magnitude scale are difficult for scientists to measure. For one thing, they occur rarely - once a year or less - so researchers don't have many chances to analyze them.

And, the tools that scientists use to measure movements in the planet's crust are becoming more sophisticated. So the way in which they assign a number to signal an earthquake's fury is evolving.

Today, when seismologists describe an earthquake's magnitude, it is a composite of several types of instruments and equations that calculate several aspects of an earthquake's behavior.

The methods started in a more simple way nearly 70 years ago when seismologist Charles Richter of the California Institute of Technology developed his now-familiar Richter scale of earthquake magnitude.

Today, researchers still use its familiar scale. Each whole number represents a tenfold increase in seismic movement and severity.

Moderate earthquakes begin at 5.0. Strong earthquakes begin at 6.0 and cause damage even to modern structures. Major earthquakes are rated at 7.0 and higher, causing damage over hundreds of miles.

Sunday's quake was the strongest since the 1964 tremor that struck Alaska and measured 9.2.

The most powerful earthquake on record was a 9.5 in Chile in 1960.

While researchers still use the familiar Richter scale numbers, the equations that go into the original scale are too limited, especially for larger earthquakes and those that extend down faults for hundreds of miles.

As a result, researchers have turned to more precise measurements, such as "seismic moment,'' which quantifies how much energy is released by an earthquake.

Because of these uncertainties, scientists may initially estimate an earthquake's magnitude, only to tweak it as more data are available. So Sunday's magnitude 8.9 could change slightly in days to come.

Following is a list of the strongest earthquakes in recent history:

1. May 22, 1960, magnitude-9.5, Chile.

2. March 28, 1964, magnitude-9.2, Prince William Sound, Alaska.

3. March 9, 1957, magnitude-9.1, Andreanof Islands, Alaska.

4. Dec. 26, 2004, magnitude-9.0, Sumatra, Indonesia.

4. Nov. 4, 1952, magnitude-9.0, Kamchatka peninsula, Soviet Union (now Russia).

6. Jan. 31, 1906, magnitude-8.8, off the coast of Ecuador.

7. Feb. 4, 1965, magnitude-8.7, Rat Islands, Alaska.

8. Aug. 15, 1950, magnitude-8.6, Tibet.

9. Feb. 3, 1923, magnitude-8.5, Kamchatka.

9. Feb. 1, 1938, magnitude-8.5, Banda Sea, Indonesia.

9. Oct. 13, 1963, magnitude-8.5, Kuril Islands.

taken from www.thestaronline.com
Monday, December 27, 2004
Death toll from tidal waves region-wide exceeds 11,000

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Tidal waves from a massive undersea earthquake smashed into coastlines across Asia, washing away whole villages in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India and dragging sunbathers out to sea and snorkelers across jagged reefs at tourist havens in Thailand.

More than 11,600 people were killed in six countries.

The death toll from the most powerful earthquake in four decades climbed steadily throughout Sunday as authorities counted bodies washed up on beaches and left hanging like ragdolls from trees.

Foreign tourists were among the dead and the thousands of others who were reported missing.

Tens of thousands fled the coasts for higher ground, fearing aftershocks and further flood surges.

Worst hit was Sri Lanka - an island nation some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) west of the epicenter.

The death toll stood at 4,500, according to police and Tamil Tiger rebels, and 1 million people were displaced.

Sri Lanka's government declared a national disaster.

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake - the strongest since a 9.2 magnitude temblor in Alaska in 1964 - struck just before 7 a.m. (0100 GMT) off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, about 1,620 kilometers (1,000 miles) northwest of Jakarta, the capital, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It was 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep, and was followed by a half-dozen powerful aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from almost 6 and 7.3.

Traveling at nearly jetliner speeds, the first huge waves began pummeling southern Thailand an hour after the quake.

In 2 1/2 hours, the torrents had traveled some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) and slammed India and Sri Lanka.

They eventually struck the East Africa coast in Somalia, killing at least nine people.

In the Maldives, a string of 1,192 low-lying coral atolls off India's southwestern coast, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom declared a state of emergency after the waves killed an unspecified number of people and caused extensive damage, the presidential Web site said.

Electricity and communications were cut to parts of the country and few details were available.

In Washington, the White House said that Sri Lanka and the Maldives were two of the worst-hit countries and that U.S. relief efforts were under way.

Towns in Sumatra's Aceh province, the closest region to the earthquake's epicenter, were swamped by the waves.

The health ministry said at least 4,185 people were killed, and hundreds more were missing in the area.

The quake occurred at a place where several huge geological plates push against each other with massive force.

The survey said a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) section along the boundary of the plates shifted, motion that triggered the sudden displacement of a huge volume of water.

The reverberations sent waves as high as six meters (20 feet) thundering into the coasts of six countries, sweeping away tourists, fishermen, hotels, homes and cars.

"Suddenly this huge wave came, rushing down the beach, destroying everything in its wake,'' said Simon Clark, 29, a photographer from London vacationing on Thailand's Ngai island.

"People that were snorkeling were dragged along the coral and washed up on the beach, and people that were sunbathing got washed into the sea.''

A government disaster center said 289 people, including a number of Western holiday-makers, were killed and more than 3,600 injured in southern Thai resorts.

"We initially thought it was a terrorist attack, then the wave came and we just kept running upstairs to get on as high ground as we could,'' Gerrard Donnelly, another British tourist, staying at a resort in Phuket, Thailand, told Sky News.

In India, the waves swept away boats, homes and vehicles killing nearly 2,300 people in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry, officials said.

Tamil Nadu's beaches resembled open-air mortuaries as fishermen's bodies washed ashore, and retreating waters left behind others killed inland. Sea water flooded the streets of Cuddalore town, flipping over dozens of cars and leaving some vehicles perched atop road dividers.

At least 20,000 people were evacuated from the region, officials said.

At least 300 people were killed on India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, and another 700 were missing and believed dead, Press Trust of India cited the region's police chief as saying.

"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, an Andhra Pradesh resident.

"Many boats were upturned, but fishermen were still holding on to them,'' he said.

"They also were pushed into the sea. It was shocking.''

In Aceh's Lancuk village, and a reporter for The Associated Press saw several bodies wedged into trees, apparently left there by receding waters.

At least 30,000 people were reported to have fled their homes in the region.

At least 49 were killed on the island of Nias, to Sumatra's west and close to the epicenter of the quake.

In Malaysia, at least 53 people, including foreign tourists swimming or riding jetskis, were killed, the majority on the resort island of Penang, police and government officials said.

The force of the earthquake shook unusually far afield, causing buildings to sway hundreds of miles away, from Singapore to the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, and in Bangladesh, hours after the region's Christian communities had finished Christmas celebrations.

From the Vatican, Pope John Paul II led appeals for aid for victims, a call that was quickly echoed across much of Europe as relief efforts were organized and government rushed to check whether their citizens were among the missing or dead.

"The Christmas holiday has been saddened by the news that comes from Southeast Asia about the powerful earthquake,'' the pontiff said during his customary Sunday address.

"Let us pray for the victims of this enormous tragedy and assure them of our solidarity for all those who suffer, while we hope that the international community acts to bring relief to the stricken populations,'' he said.

The 25-nation European Union promised to quickly deliver euro3 million (US$4 million) in emergency aid.

"For all the huge advances in the control of our lives through science and technology, an earthquake on this scale is truly humbling as well as profoundly tragic,'' said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Holidays turned to disaster in southern Thailand, which welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists to its southern beaches during the Christmas season.

The owner of two resorts on Phi Phi island - where the Hollywood blockbuster "The Beach'', starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed - said that 200 of his bungalows were swept out to sea, along with some of his 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 the

Thai capital of Bangkok at the time.

He estimated that 700 people could have been on the beach.

At least two children were killed when a boat capsized in Bangladesh, local authorities said. - AP

Deaths reported after quakes, tidal waves batter southern Asia

At least 11,754 people are reported dead around southern Asia and as far away as Somalia on Africa's eastern coast, most killed by massive tidal waves that smashed coastlines after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Indonesia's coast on Sunday, followed by aftershocks in the region.

- Sri Lanka: At least 4,500 reported dead, from both government-and Tamil rebel-controlled areas.

- Indonesia: 4,448.

- India: 2,284

- Thailand: 431.

- Malaysia: 48.

- Maldives: 32.

- Somalia: 9.

- Bangladesh: 2.


OMG this is so horrible!!!! I just thought you guys would like to know (if you didn't already), since alot of us buy our bettas from these countries...and numerous have developed friendships with their sellers.
 
All we can do is say prayers and send money and relief supplies.
 
So many people died :( , imagine the fish population.....just thinking of the tanks falling or the aquariums breaking gives me the chills.. :crazy:
 
iv heard 13 the death toll is thousand now -_- alot of those people use this forum, i hope their ok, id hate to lose someone from the forum that i know -_- , i wouldn't worry about the fish they can swim, this has been happening for millions of years on those tiny islands and i assume they are pretty well addapted. there have been alot of earthquakes resently, one of which was in austrilia that ranked about 4.5 on chrismas eve and this one here in the indian ocean was on of the biggest on record iv heard -_- my thoghts go out to all those affected by this tradegy :unsure:
 
a 9.0 is no good, unfortunatly it was a bright sunny day outside so many people where on the beaches, it hit the most remote places hardest too :sad: theve air dropped medicines in already, they expect water born deseases to hit hard.
 
Chino said:
So many people died :( , imagine the fish population.....just thinking of the tanks falling or the aquariums breaking gives me the chills.. :crazy:
tanks breaking and fish dying kind of pales in comparison to the loss of human life. my thoughts and prayers are with the many having to deal with the consequenses and potential aftershocks. i can only hope our friends in those countries are ok :( my wife can't get through to her family in thailand, our only consolation is that they live inland...
 
bkk_group said:
Chino said:
So many people died  :( , imagine the fish population.....just thinking of the tanks falling or the aquariums breaking gives me the chills..  :crazy:
tanks breaking and fish dying kind of pales in comparison to the loss of human life. my thoughts and prayers are with the many having to deal with the consequenses and potential aftershocks. i can only hope our friends in those countries are ok :( my wife can't get through to her family in thailand, our only consolation is that they live inland...
So sad, tell her that she and her family are in our prayers.

So heartbreaking,guys. Just ughh...I can't even imagine. Just thinking of looking up and seeing a massive wave...one minute you're shopping/selling on the street and the next...
 
what even more horrifying is that the death toll is nearly 4 times as much of 9/11's and i thought that death toll was un imaginable. :no: :-(
 
i just heard most of my sisters friends and my mothers friends daughter and son is there, we got contact with them all and theyre safe on the other side of the islands. thank god theyre okay :nod:
 
Yes, this is a great tragedy...I'm going to go out on a limb and figure this will probably be one of the worst tragedys this century. :-( I saw it on the news and couldn't believe it...they didn't give very much detail last night on local news, so I went in search of it further. Most of the information I posted was from a newspaper I believe is from Maylasia..the maylasia star (the star online) if I am not mistaken (I googled it so I'm not really sure..I had to click several links to get to it).

I posted this at 10pm...at Midnight the count was up to 12,500..at 6am this morning it had risen to 25,000 and they are still looking and searching for survivor's/bodies.

Such an inumerable loss of life..as I am certain a vast majority will never be found, probably swept out to sea. :no: It's just terrible...it makes me tear up every time I think about it. I cannot even fathom the immense fear that swept over each and everyone of those poor people...when they saw that water retreat then come rushing back at them..not even knowing what to expect.

I only have 1 question....this entire plant is under constant survellance by weather satellites...HOW could this have happened? These people, from what I understand in reading, had no warning what so ever..how does that happen? It obviously happend way out in the ocean..or they would have felt it and known something was really wrong, right? So there should have been at least some sort of warning..shouldn't there? It makes no sense to me..the technology we have today...and something like this hitting with no prior knowledge and.or warnings going on. And from reading these articles...there were an estimated 700 people on the beach playing in the water with their kids, and people snorkling in the reefs..so obviously these people were clueless that they were about to be hit like this.

Kudo to all the countries who have already deployed thousands of troops and red cross help there..to help sort through the kaos. :thumbs:

I heard a sound clip on the news (AM radio) on teh way to work..just complete and utter kaos..peopel looting and alarms going off and peopel crying and screaming in teh back ground..I'm sure the clip did the situation no justice...but it did enough to give me an idea of what those people are going through..complete and utter pandemonium.

God bless them all. :byebye:
 
the reason know one could predited is because the tectonic plates (sp?) moved with out warning under the earths surface pushing water at immense speeds. but the speeds only took up when they hit higher areas in the ocean (where people swim) where the water is shallow so the water that is being pushed is forced into a wave, a massive wave with its immense speed. so snorklers and fishermen only felt a small push and probably thought nothing of it. so so sad :-(
 
SRC said:
YMost of the information I posted was from a newspaper I believe is from Maylasia..the maylasia star (the star online) if I am not mistaken (I googled it so I'm not really sure..I had to click several links to get to it).
Yes, The Star is a local newspaper that i have been reading with great concern recently due to the tragic events. The death toll i saw on CNN was estimated to be 15000 now :(

God bless them all.

P.T.
 
I think you guys are missing the point entirely, with all your researching.

There was an Earthquake measuring 8.9 on the richter scale in the midst of the Indian Ocean where the 3 continental plates meat. They crashed together forming an upward propulsion of pressure in the sea, forming Tidle waves up to 30m high.

You CANNOT predict something like this, it is no fault of meteorlogical services as they cannot see this coming, and Geographic experts cannot predict the movements of this 3-way plate crashing together as it is so far beneath the ocean to realistically map.

It was a terrible tragedy, and as said, one of the worst things to happen so far this centuary.

Just remember, before you go making accusations, or highly inaccurate posts, research and think!

Ben

P>S> this should also have been posted in General Discussion, not in the Betta forum!?!?!?!
 
I posted it here because I post here most often, sorry about that. If it needs to be moved..so be it.

In Los Angeles, the head of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said US officials who detected the undersea quake tried frantically to get a warning out about the tsunami.

But there was no official alert system in the region, said Charles McCreery, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's centre in Honolulu.

"It took an hour and a half for the wave to get from the earthquake to Sri Lanka and an hour for it to get to the west coast of Thailand and Malaysia," he said.

"We tried to do what we could. We don't have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world," he said.

This is why I questioned why they were not alerted, not that they could have predicted this. They DID know about it..an hour before it hit. I just have a hard time believing that they "couldn't find a phone number" for someone to call about it. That just doesn't make much sense to me. It's not like Thailand is a small place that no one knows about. We have an entire world at our fingertips (www)...and no one could locate a number to warn these folks? :no: Not going to be much consolation for the families of the 25,000+ people lost.

But this is nothing to start an argument over really...I just wanted to post what I found and make it known all in one place. Makes it hard to understand the full scale/importance of something..when you only hear bits and pieces a little at a time, imo. I just felt compelled to express my disdain for the lack of understanding I felt as to how something of this magnatude could sweep over so many nations..without them having any notification of such happenings.
 

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