Taufik Batisah - Asia Tsunami Blog

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Photos and Videos of the Tsunami

I found this incredible online gallery of pictures taken during and after the tsunami disaster. Here's one of them:

You can view this site here, or you can also download the video compilation (knowledge of Bit Torrent required).

Three-year-old tsunami survivor returns to Singapore

SINGAPORE : Tsunami survivor, three-year-old Tan Wei En, returned safely to Singapore at 11 pm on Wednesday, but the little boy arrived alone from Phuket without his parents.

He had lost his mother to the tsunami that hit several parts of Asia on Sunday, and his father had remained behind to take care of funeral arrangements.

Wei En appeared calm and well in the arms of a family friend, even though he had been through enough trauma to last a lifetime.

Read more here

Singapore dispatches medics, helicopters to tsunami-hit areas

SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore increased relief operations to tsunami-hit parts of Southeast Asia Thursday as a minister warned the number of city-state citizens killed or missing in the disaster was likely to climb.

Military medics headed for tsunami-ravaged areas of Indonesia, part of a staggered deployment that will eventually see 530 Singaporean service personnel committed to Sumatra.

More forces could be sent to Thailand's west coast.

There are "no worries, just challenges that we'll have to overcome one by one,'' said Lieutenant-Colonel Fan Swee Weng, 37, moments before he departed for Medan, the main town in North Sumatra.

Read more here

Asia Tsunami Death Toll Soars Past 77,000

Asia Tsunami Death Toll Climbs Past 77,000; Relief Supplies Pile Up Indonesia Airport.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia Dec 30, 2004 — As the world scrambled to the rescue, survivors fought over packs of noodles in quake-stricken Indonesian streets Wednesday while relief supplies piled up at the airport for lack of cars, gas or passable roads to move them. The official death toll across 11 countries soared past 77,000 and the Red Cross predicted it could exceed 100,000.

Bodies were piled into mass graves in the belief that burial would ward off disease. Paramedics in southern India began vaccinating thousands of survivors against cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and dysentery, and authorities sprayed bleaching powder on beaches where bodies have been recovered. In Sri Lanka, reports of waterborne disease such as diarrhea caused fears of an epidemic.

Read more here

Bush pledges more US aid for tsunami relief effort

WASHINGTON : Two days after being criticised for not doing enough to aid in the Asian tsunami disaster relief effort, US President George Bush has announced a major American contribution.

US$35 million will be made available immediately, with more to follow in the days and months ahead.

US military personnel and equipment are en route to the stricken areas to provide food, medicine and logistical support, and Washington is working with governments in Australia, Japan and India to coordinate international relief.

Read more here

Tsunami death toll rises to 76,700

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - Cargo planes touched down with aid today, bearing everything from lentils to water purifiers to help survivors facing the threat of epidemic after this week’s quake-tsunami catastrophe. The first Indonesian military teams reached the devastated west coast of Sumatra island, finding thousands of bodies and increasing the death toll across 12 nations to more than 76,700.

The international Red Cross warned that the toll could eventually surpass 100,000.

Town after town along the Sumatran coast was covered with mud and sea water, with homes flattened or torn apart, an Associated Press reporter saw on a helicopter overflight with the military commander of the island’s Aceh province. The only signs of life were a handful of villagers scavenging for food on the beach.

Read more here

Heartwarming stories of survival and generosity among tsunami chaos

A little girl clinging to a broken door for two days in the Indian Ocean, people offering dazed stranger’s comfort and the shirts off their backs.

Amid the chaos and grief surrounding the tsunami horror wrought on Asia have emerged some remarkable tales of survival, acts of courage and heartwarming generosity.

The devastating consequences of a disaster that has left tens of thousands dead and destruction on a scale rarely seen before have also brought out the worst of the human spirit, with reports of looting, pillaging and theft

Read more here

Rising casualties: Tsunami toll crosses 80,000

Three days after the deadly tsunami sea waves struck Asia and parts of Africa, the death toll in one of the worst natural disasters ever has touched 80,000.

The United Nations has said the world's largest humanitarian relief operation is underway.

International disaster assessment teams are arriving in the affected countries and local agencies are distributing emergency aid.

Read more here

Tsunami Death Toll Could Top 100,000; Massive Relief Effort Under Way

The Red Cross is warning the death toll from Sunday's earthquake-triggered tsunami across the Indian Ocean could surpass 100,000. The bodies of those pulled out to sea by the initial wall of water are now washing up on Asia's shorelines as rescue crews from around the world try to care for those who survived and contain the threat of disease.

It's being called a disaster of unprecedented proportions, with the number of dead continuing to climb by the hour. Tens of thousands of people still remain unaccounted for with the likelihood increasing that as the hours go by, they too will be added to the dead.

Read more here

Bodies still entombed in Sri Lanka train swallowed by tsunami

MITIYAGODA, Sri Lanka : The buzz of an electric chain saw pierces the air as it cuts through a coconut palm pinning a bloated corpse. It is the only sound of rescue here where the sea swallowed an entire train packed with 1,500 passengers.

At this site of mass death and destruction -- where the Indian Ocean sped in and flipped over the train like a toy, killing all but 200 of its passengers -- there is a severe shortage of recovery gear.

"We want some machines to push the carriages (so we can) get at the bodies," says an airforce officer leading a team of about 200 airforce and navy rescue workers here, just south of the resort of Hikkaduwa popular with divers for its rich coral life. "We need cranes."

Read more here.