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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Current Events: The Wave

It's kinda hard to write Party Reports when there is so much death and destruction going on...

I'm proud to be able to say that the blogosphere has risen to the occasion, getting the story out, organizing donations, disseminating critical info and helping people find their friends and loved ones. The most compelling reports I've seen so far were SMS'd out of Sri Lanka by a local reporter who was trying to find his own family during the immediate post Wave chaos... Pictures of the Wave coming ashore (and the aftermath) have been posted by bloggers (locals and tourists) and they are truly astonishing...

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami (SEA-EAT Blog for short) live blog has been established to try to help coordinate the blog community's effort. I have volunteered to help them out any way I possibly can...

The net gives us an effective way to find out much of what's going on in Southeast Asia, faster than other forms of media and in much greater detail. Official local sources tend to try to put the best face on things, which is a horrible disservice to the victims... The stories of people on the ground are absolutely heartbreaking and it's going to get worse before it gets much better, at this rate anyway...

Relief efforts are already bogging down, hamstrung by the sheer lack of anything even remotely resembling adequate logistical support throughout the region. You can fly stuff into the area all bloody day, but getting it to the people is damn near impossible when there are no trucks or fuel available from there. (Too bad the US is so busy in Iraq, huh? They could really use a whole bunch of tactical airlift in Asia right about now...)

My own training and experience tells me that the number one issue for the survivors is clean water. Just about every water treatment facility in the path of The Wave took a major hit and folks are drinking contaminated water because they have no other choice. Reports of water-borne illnesses among victims are already reaching the rest of the world, the outlook is just about as bleak as it could possibly be... 

The death toll from epidemic disease may actually eclipse that of the actual Wave itself... Expect grand totals above 100000 (possibly well above...) The stench of the dead will hang over that region like a curtain for a long time...

On a personal note - Timing is everything: There's no effective way to tell when these events may occur, if it had happened two months later, this would be a completely different story for me. What you probably don't know is that Eva was planning a trip to Thailand in Feb. and she had invited me to join her to hang out on the beach and chill for a couple of weeks. I'd been working on arrangements, but it didn't look like I could swing it. I don't fear death much anymore (other stuff for sure, but not dying...) but the thought of someone I care so much about being caught in such a horrific event (without me...) is STILL freaking me out around the edges! That's at least part of why I feel such a need to help in at least some small way.

You should think about helping too... Go HERE and do it NOW!