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Satellite Views of Tsunami

Posted by Richard, C.Ped on 1/05/05 at 13:18 (166567)



Re: Satellite Views of Tsunami

JudyS on 1/05/05 at 15:24 (166571)

Wow is right, Richard. Thanks for those. I'd say number 8 is the most graphic.

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marie on 1/05/05 at 17:28 (166579)

My heart just weeps for those in pain. Thank you for sharing Richard.

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Kathy G on 1/06/05 at 18:43 (166616)

Thanks, Richard. No matter how many pictures I see, it still amazes me. Have you seen the picture that shows nothing standing in a village except a mosque? I think I see it in one of the pictures on this site. How do these people even begin to rebuild?

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Julie on 1/06/05 at 23:01 (166628)

Thanks from me too, Richard. But what astonishes me about the replies to your post is that you don't seem to have seen nearly as much of the devastation as we have on this side of the Atlantic. All our TV networks, especially the BBC, have given it at least half an hour's coverage in every news programme, and there are several of those on each of our four main channels every day, plus the ongoing 24-hour coverage.

The BBC coverage has been especially brilliant. They have teams of their best correspondents and camera crews in all the worst hit areas, and every evening they give detailed reports from Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and South India. Not only the scenes of devastation, but in-depth reports that focus on individuals. It has been heartbreaking. Yesterday they went to a tiny village in Sumatra in which nine-tenths of the population was killed and showed a group of around 20 orphaned children. The village elder moved through the group introducing several of the children by name and telling about the parents and siblings each had lost. (The tragedy, in these communities which children would normally be able to depend on the support of extended families, is that there are no extended families any more - so few adults left to protect the children.)

They spoke to a man who is still digging with his bare hands in the wreckage of his village, looking for his wife and children, knowing that they are dead but incapable of accepting it. The day before yesterday they talked to an Indonesian woman left almost entirely alone in her destroyed village. She had been selling vegetables in the market, slightly inland, and came home to find her home obliterated and her husband and four children all gone. She was weeping, clinging to the correspondent's arm as they walked along the beach, crying 'Help me, help me. I have nothing to eat, my children are dead, Help me'. And all he could do was put his arm around her, and he did.

So tell me, are you folks not getting such reports, and such pictures on your TV screens?

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Richard, C.Ped on 1/07/05 at 09:38 (166630)

Julie: We are getting tons of coverage here. This is the first time I have seen a satellite view.

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Julie on 1/07/05 at 11:01 (166636)

Aha. I see. Thanks, Richard: I'm glad to hear it. The papers and TV networks here have really been fulfilling their responsibilities, in keeping this terrible thing high in the public consciousness, and it's good that this is so in the States too.

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Kathy G on 1/07/05 at 11:13 (166638)

Yes, Richard is right. That was the first satellite photo I've seen but the converage is unbelievable. Many of the local stores even have containers set out to collect funds. Even little Manchester, NH has had a special telethon to raise money.

To tell you the truth, I am very concerned that our home charities such as the American Cancer Society, etc. will receive fewer donations this year because so many people are contributing to the Tsunami relief. There's only so much money to go around. I don't mean that to sound selfish and we, of course, have contributed but we did it in addition to our usual charitable donations. Not everyone will be able to afford that.

I just turned on the television to check on the weather and heard that they just found 4,000 more bodies. It's so unreal.

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JudyS on 1/07/05 at 12:11 (166643)

Julie, actually it sounds as though the press coverage here parallels that of Europe. For instance this week's press has put much emphasis on Colin Powell's tour and statement that, in spite of his time spent in war zones, he has never seen such destruction. And now the UN Secretary General is being visable and vocal about his own observations of the destruction. This in addition to ongoing and extensive coverage of native loss of life and property.
The Press here is also extensively covering the myriad of efforts at private fund raising - from children selling lemonade to Hollywood folks giving millions.
I was surprised to read your note that coverage may not be so extensive if not for the many anglo vacationers who were victims. I was surprised because I haven't observed much coveerage about those vacationers - some, yes, but most of the coverage I've seen has greatly emphasised the tremendous loss of local families, homes and businesses.

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John H on 1/07/05 at 13:59 (166650)

I think the closest thing that comes to the Tusnami is the WWII destruction of the German Cities which leveled and burned them to the ground. Even looks somewhat like Hiroshima or Nagasaki after the atomic bombs. Germany and Japan rose from the ashes and so will these areas. It may take a decade but it will happen. Money is not the immediate problem as getting the supplies to the needed areas is the largest problem. I think we have around 85 helicopters that are doing the immediate heavy lifting. They are flying 24/7 off of our carriers. On the deck of the carrier you see no high tech fighters only helicopters. C-130's are flying in the bulk of the supplies into remote sites on short strips and then the helicopters are delivering the goods and medical help to places only a helicopter can go. With most bridges and roads washed out in many areas it seems that military helicopters will be the major source of transportation for some time to come. Sort of ironic that the military at this moment is probably the most important element in relief and aid to this devistated area. I do not know if it has arrived yet but a large navy hospital ship is en route and it can take care of thousands and perform any medical procedure. Interesting to see that the insurgents have agreed not to kill any Americans or Australians in the area as long as they are involved in relief. Insurgent Muslims in Sri Lanka have been a major problem for some years but it does not make much news.

There was a tsunami that hit this part of the world many years ago that may have been even larger as the oncoming waves were in excess of 100 feet high. It did not, however, take as many human lives and there were not as many built up areas. The news media do not talk much about the earthquake itself as many places were totally leveled by the earthquake before the tsunami hit. I believe the earthquake was the largest recorded in the last 100 years The tsunami may not have been the largest but did take to most lives. As most of you probably remember some years ago a large earthquake hit Turkey/Iran. Thousands were killed and many towns leveled. A lot of money was raised. Most of these towns are very much like they were after the earthquake. The rebuilding did not take place and the people did not receive much of the aid the money was to help with. There needs to be follow through on this tragedy to insure the billions raised is used wisely as the thieves at all levels will appear. Organizations are generally better than governments in doing this type of work although in this case the military has turned out to be a life saver and only a government can provide all these airlift aircraft and helicopters, engineers,etc.

I have moved refugees and bodies and smelled death. People who have lost everything. Never on the magnitude of anything like this. It takes its toll on the mind forever. I cannot imagine how it is to deal with this week after week or probably month after month. The aid workers, military, and civilians who have stepped in to help are indeed brave and tough people. When you reach my age you start asking yourself what in life have I really accomplished that made a difference. I am only left with rescuing and saving people. All the other stuff seems to fade as the years go by. That has been my greatest reward. I sure wish I were young enough to still fly helicopters and be involved in helping first hand. This is what I did best and seemed to serve me as well as the victims. Of course there are always new generations who step up to help their fellow man. As John Donne wrote 'any mans death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind'.

A side effect is starting to take place which is many organizations that help the needy,homeless and poor in our own country are starting to feel the effects of reduced donations. Very much reduced as most people are making all their donations to the Tsunami victims. Some of our local food banks and soup kitchens are running out of money. We need to remember these other groups who also perform a valuable human service. If not with our money then with our time.

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John H on 1/07/05 at 14:44 (166655)

Germany and Japan were very much leveled in WWII. I often wonder how they rebuilt so fast. Of course the Marshall play was where it started. I was flying into Germany in the early 50's into cities like Frankfurt which was leveled and burned to the earth and it had already risen from the ashes. It is amazing what man/woman can do. The lives cannot be replaced but the towns and cities will rise once again. I noted how peoples of different nations react and move when faced with horrific problems. The German people always seem to be moving fast and not wasting time. They seem to me to be very energetic as to compared to say the French. This is not a knock on the French as I loved to sit on the Champs sipping wine and eating cheese. They just approach life different than the Germans. Life is much more layed back in France. People in the far east are much more family oriented and work oriented than western nations. They may not work fast but they work persistent and with a goal. You see it in our country when they arrive. They arrive with nothing and the next thing you see is their chidren graduating from Harvard and their side walk cart business turned into a chain of resturants. In Little Rock the Mexicans now do 99% of all roofing work. This is tough hot work. They work fast and long and they are saving their money or sending it home. I recently had a new roof put on my home. The Mexican crew put it on in one and one-half days and did a super job. It was not just the workers but the owner of the business was Mexican. My last roof took a week some 20 years ago. In our town all the large scrap metal companies are owned by Jews. I do not know why this is but that is the way it has always been. By the way when you look at a so called junk yard recognize these owners are very possible millionaires. Ours are as I know the owners. Thailand will recover quickly. Sri Lanka was a 3rd world nation to start with so they will get back to where they were but need political changes to escape the poverty they were in prior to the Tsunami. Maybe even the insurgency could come to an end but that is probably a dream.

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Dorothy on 1/07/05 at 16:24 (166661)

I also heard that Mexican crews are doing much of the carpet installation in the U.S., that they have mobile crews that go from town to town - they do the work for many/all? of the Home Depot flooring installation, for example.

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Dorothy on 1/07/05 at 16:30 (166664)

I think I love you, John H. :-)

Re: to John H....

Suzanne D. on 1/08/05 at 08:54 (166696)

Like many others have said, I truly enjoy reading about the adventures of your life. Even more than what you experienced, I appreciate reading about your thoughts and feelings about those events.

I was particularly impressed with these words from the above post: 'When you reach my age you start asking yourself what in life have I really accomplished that made a difference. I am only left with rescuing and saving people. All the other stuff seems to fade as the years go by. That has been my greatest reward.' Thank you for sharing that with us; I think those are words of wisdom.

Your words reminded me of a quote I heard attributed to a missionary, Jim Elliott, years ago: 'He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose'.

Suzanne :)

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Dr. Z on 1/08/05 at 09:04 (166697)


It's funny you should say that about scrap yard owners being millionaires. Years ago I had a patient come into my office. At that time my father who is was a podiatrist was in my office working a few days a weeks. This patient comes in and my father sees him and calls out hey scraps how are you doing. The started to hug. It was one of my fathers childhood friends. My father grew up in a town called Camden, New Jersey. Anyway they talk and talk and talk. He use to send alot of time talking to his old buddies. My office was very close to Camden. I had to actually fire my father for all his talking just joking. But he would talk for hours with patients It was great. so back to the story I asked my father why the name Scraps and he told me he owned a scrap metal yard. It was a family business. My father then told me that Scraps is one of the few men in the world that could place any number on his check and and his check would be good for anything. It was my fathers way of saying that scraps was a multi- millionaire. You story just reminded of my dad and scraps

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JudyS on 1/08/05 at 19:39 (166719)

I have a cousin who is a 'junk yard' owner. He's a zillionaire too!

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Kathy G on 1/09/05 at 10:18 (166780)

A tour of my cellar says that I'm off to a good start!:)

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Janice C on 1/10/05 at 10:21 (166844)

Thank you for your beautiful post. There is just something special about our servicemen, you guys always make the world a better place to live in. God bless.