Saturday, January 01, 2005
Why weren't we warned

Two hours would have been plenty of time to warn, really. There was a report yesterday of how a gentleman working with Dr. MSS was in Singapore, heard the Tsunami warning and immediately called his village in Pondicherry. This call saved 3 villages from human tolls.

Is it possible that the Indian High Commission in Singapore/Embassy in Indonesia were lax in the interpretation and communication of the events. South Indian coasts are equipped with warning systems and have PA systems to announce sudden cyclones. So had the Embassies been proactive, the warnings could have easily been transmitted to the poor villagers and may be even to our Lankan neighbours.

Well, all said and done, this is indeed a disaster of mammoth proportions, spanning nations and I must admit that my eyes tear up each time I read more about this. I hope people find in their heart to donate, not just to India but if possible to Indonesia and Sri Lanka which are worse off than India in terms of damages and loss of life.

And I end this in with a tale of courage and presence of mind:

10-year old school girl saved many from tsunami

LONDON: A 10-year-old British schoolgirl saved the lives of hundreds of people in southern Asia by warning them a wall of water was about to strike, after learning about tsunamis in geography class, British media reported on Saturday.

Tilly, who has been renamed the "angel of the beach" by the top-selling tabloid The Sun , was holidaying with her family on the Thai island of Phuket when she suddenly grasped what was taking place and alerted her mother.

"Last term Mr Kearney taught us about earthquakes and how they can cause tsunamis," Tilly was quoted as saying by The Sun.

"I was on the beach and the water started to go funny. There were bubbles and the tide went out all of a sudden.

"I recognised what was happening and had a feeling there was going to be a tsunami. I told mummy."

Her intuition was enough to raise the alert and prompt the evacuation of Phuket's Maikhao beach and a neighbouring hotel before the water came crashing in, saving hundreds of people from death and injury.

According to The Sun , no one on Maikhao beach was seriously hurt by the tsunamis that have left more than 1,25,000 dead and millions homeless around the shores of the Indian Ocean.

The girl's geography teacher, Andrew Kearnay from Surrey in northern England, told the paper he had explained to his class that there was about 10 minutes from the moment the ocean draws out before the tsunami strikes.

Are some governments keen to see a reduction in world populations?
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