By now I am sure most people know that
30,000 , 68,000 – 120,000 died and 1 million homeless as a result of the tsunami that hit south east Asia on the 26th. Media reports are saying that at least two thirds of those who have died would have been saved if an early warning system had been in place. Each tidal sensor costs approximately $200,000 and between 5 and 10 of these would have been adequate enough. The 4 countries that have suffered the most devastation, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia could have shared the cost of up to $2,000,000. India for example has spent billions on developing nuclear weapons and Indonesia spends millions on it’s defense budget yet none of these 4 countries could come up with a mere $200,000.
Worse, the Pacific tidal warning center based in California issued a bulletin some 14 hours prior to the earthquake, warning of a possible series of tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. However no one could be contacted and the bulletin never reached south east Asia.
Tsunami Help is an excellent blog set up to provide information on volunteering, donations and all the various local charities are listed and evaluated to help you choose which ones to send your money too.
Writing in the Guardian "How can religious people explain something like this?" Martin Kettle asks some uncomfortable questions such as "What God sanctions an earthquake?" "What kind of order is it that decrees that a person who went to sleep by the edge of the ocean on Christmas night should wake up the next morning engulfed by the waves, struggling for life?"
Ethan Zuckerman’s weblog has links to a number of blogs writing from India.