As I write, the toll has climbed to over 50,000.
While it doesn’t seem appropriate to apportion blame in an event such as this, I’m of similar sentiment as Mr Brown when it comes to Singaporeans and their actions (if any) in attempting to ameliorate the suffering. Why so slow? Can’t we fly our vaunted medical team there first, then help evaluate what needs to be done? Surely there’ll be things to do as soon as you hit the ground, no? Maid agencies here can send sacked domestic helpers back to Indonesia faster than you can blink an eye, man! Not good enough, dudes!
Also, you know when the people in Colorado discovered the massive earthquake, and measured it as a very big one under the sea off Indonesia, how come it didn’t occur to their expert brains that tsunamis would more likely than not, ensue? And if it did occur to them, it would’ve occurred to them that it would have ensued on such a devastating scale that would have prompted them to take ALL POSSIBLE MEANS to contact AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE in the region affected.
What do you mean by NO WARNING SYSTEM? Use your blain! Call the State Department, call consulates, you have internet? Google! Wah lao! You can put decimal places on the Richter scale and you cannot make a few simple phone calls?! It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before! Not bloody good enough, dudes!
(Update: From NYT (login required):
…The Pacific center, operated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, faced two problems in recognizing what was occurring in the Indian Ocean and alerting potential victims. There is no direct connection between an earthquake magnitude and a resulting tsunami. Not all quakes under the ocean lift the ocean floor to displace the water needed to create a tsunami….
…Dr. McCreery, the Honolulu center’s director, said the initial estimate of the earthquake’s magnitude, 8.0, would have been likely to generate a local tsunami….)
My World Bank friend, who’s back in Washington tells me news coverage in the US of the disaster is appalling. It seems this is just some earthquake and big waves somewhere in Asia, and the only thing worth reporting is how many Americans have been victims of the disaster. Probably because holidaymakers in the region are predominantly European and not American, says my World Bank friend, who called me earlier very upset that her favourite beach in the world, Raily, is no more, and she doesn’t know what’s become of her friends who live there.