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01 October 2009 @ 09:17 pm
More grimness  
One of my friends has a theory that the Pacific is some sort of magnet for environmental disasters. She may be right.

Very early on the morning of September 29, an earthquake shook the islands of Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga. Shortly afterwards, a great 7m wave crashed over the islands, sweeping away whole villages, killing over 150, with children and the elderly the main victims. Families, homes and livelihoods have all been lost, and there are emergency shipments of fresh food and water and medical care pouring in from Australia, New Zealand and France, and by now from the United States as well (the French have nearby colonies that were not badly affected, and Australia and New Zealand are both reasonably close.)

Yesterday, as the region mobilised aid and tried to comprehend the extent of the disaster, two massive earthquakes ripped through Sumatra, a large Indonesian island. Early reports suggest that te number of dead will range into the thousands. I know that technically Indonesia could be considered in the Indian Ocean, but it is on the same fault line that frequently shakes the Pacific.

None of these countries are rich. In Samoa, there is very little emergency infrastructure. Indonesia is comparatively wealthy, but this is the third major earthquake there this year, and Sumatra is not an island of the well to do.

I know that no one has spare money at the moment. But if you can put off a haircut or pack lunch for a week and save $20, then the following organisations are on the frontline of coordinating relief efforts and will be doing what they can for the people who are left.

The New Zealand Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross

The British Red Cross

The American Red Cross

All four groups are also helping the Fillipino vicitms of Tropical Storm Ketsana, which killed 377 people last week and left many many more homeless.

Looked at in context, dust storms actually seem quite fine to me. And so this post is not wholly lacking in humour, I heard a great comment about the dust storm on the ABC tonight, from a farmer out west: 'Bloody city people, they're not satisfied with taking our water, now they're taking our dirt!'

trichinopoly ash: jensen: grey shirt & tiealdehyde on October 1st, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
thanks for this post, brammers! will be linking to it if that's alright?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 1st, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
Feel free!

This has been quite the year for disasters. I'm not for it!
trichinopoly ash: spn: saltaldehyde on October 1st, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
i know! it's upsetting :( makes me think of the apocalypse, eek.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 1st, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
It's not the apocalypse, it's an unstable part of the earth's crust! (And a severe tropical storm ...)
trichinopoly ash: broyles: ?!?aldehyde on October 1st, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
awh i hate it when our planet is sick :( we need planetary tamiflu or something.
This Girlthisgirl_is on October 1st, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Naw, this is the downside of living on the Pacific Rim. It just doesn't normally come all at once like that.
trichinopoly ash: broyles: ?!?aldehyde on October 1st, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
yeh i know. south asia's not that different. bah.
This Girlthisgirl_is on October 1st, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
It occurs to me that I really need a less blase icon for discussing things that realy are Serious Business.
This Girlthisgirl_is on October 1st, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Jesus. I hadn't really twigged that there was that many incidents all at once. Hazards of living on the Pacific Rim.

I am spreading the message as much as possible, with links to Red Cross.
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on October 2nd, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
>the Pacific is some sort of magnet for environmental disasters

If by "magent" you're referring to being on the edge of a tectonic plate, then yes.

I did some headdesking today when I heard people on the radio referring to the earthquakes and tsunamis as being "climate change" events. Bushfires, drought, flood, severe weather events - yes. Tectonic plate movement, not so much.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 2nd, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
Ah, hold your horses there! As it turns out, increased pressure from heightened sea levels CAN increase volcanic events, and quite possibly earthquakes: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327273.800-climate-change-may-trigger-earthquakes-and-volcanoes.html

So the nutty may not be as nutty as they look, which is a shame, really, as I doubt they read the article or any of the journal articles it was based on ...

And California is on a major fault and doesn't receive a fraction of the natural disasters. I swear, if it turns out that there is a god and he is an American after all, I am going to be exceedingly pissed off.
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on October 2nd, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
Okay, I conceeed a slight link between climate change and tectonic plate movement, though I think the recent earthquakes are more likely the plates just having their semi-regular jostle. And given the radio comment I heard was more along the lines of "OMG, those quakes, like you know, totally about climate change" so probably not the most well-research commentary.

My CD player in my car has died. I've been listening to the radio. It hurts...

blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 2nd, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
ABC Classical FM! 2MBS! More Beethoven than you can shake a stick at!

Yeah, I doubt the radio call in people were in any way attempting science. Though I found the article both fascinating and spooky!
( ̄ー ̄)☆☆ ジュンジュワ!: Headlolunder_an_oak on October 2nd, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)
I was totally in the office when the first quake struck (I'm in KL, Malaysia) and strangely, none of my colleagues near me noticed it. I actually thought I had a headache because I was swaying briefly from side to side. The word 'earthquake?' did drift slowly across but I brushed it aside. Happened again and only afterwards did I find out it was one.

The scary thing for me is, Malaysia is pretty damn near to Indonesia and the Phillippines D: I was previously in construction and I was told that there is only one building in KL that was built with earthquake technology and that building is over 20yrs old (;__;)

And to cap off this disjointed comment, I sniggered at the dirt comment.

...I'm hungry.
Bubba: Rochesterabsynthedrinker on October 2nd, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Done darling! Breaks my heart to think of those children. The BRC has my money and my thanks for their help. Thanks

LadyDark1 ~ A  Harry and Draco Slash Addict.Period: Musing by the Moonldydark1 on October 2nd, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
You got it. (goes to purse)
That damn ring of fire.
Take care of yourself.