This morning I awoke to the news that the death-toll in South Asia is expected to double meaning somewhere near fifty-thousand people have been killed. The New York Times is reporting that a third of the dead are children. The last wounded count I read was near eighty-thousand. This is all very hard for me to put in perspective, I mean currently this is ten times the size of September 11 — two or three times the size of earthquake disaster in Iran, one year ago.
It’s also amazing to me how the scale of geography that has been affected. The New York Times has a good presentation on the waves path, speed, and reach. Also, here are some amazing photos of the Tsunami coming into Phuket and a video of the wave hitting a town called Patong.
How to help here in America is a bit unclear as there are multiple countries affected and there are as many, if not more, relief agencies involved. It might be better (safer?) to lend support to the Red Cross affiliated program: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. There may be a better place to suggest but at this time I am not familiar with it at this time.
Thankfully I know of at least one friend who is safe and sound but still waiting to hear back from another who may have been in Sri Lanka. The US State Department has set up a toll-free number for information about US Citizens possibly affected. In the US call 1-888-407-4747, if you’re overseas call 317-472-2328.
I have been monitoring these sites for better information than what the American media are providing at this time. Of course the BBC is doing a fine job.
WorldChanging has first person accounts from their members living in the affected areas. Their coverage seems to be in harmony with the SEA-EAT blog.
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake Wikipedia entry. Great place to start for basic information about the event and regions affected including a spectacular animation of the Tsunami’s course. With it you can really see how Sri Lanka took a huge direct hit.