John McKay at archy
reports that Sir Arthur C. Clarke
has survived the earthquake and tsunami in his home in Sri Lanka.
For some reason CNN, et al. felt it was more important to report on swimsuit models and other glitteroti
than an internationally famous author and long time resident of Sri Lanka.
The death toll is sure to exceed 60,000 as more areas are reached. Millions are without homes and the infrastructure in the affected areas has been crushed. Some in the Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra would have been trapped by the earthquake and would have lacked the time or ability to flee from the water that washed over the island.
Geologists are reporting that the island of Sumatra was moved 100 feet to the southwest. Sumatra, at about 181,500 square miles is more than 130 times larger than Long Island, it is the sixth largest island in the world.
While the US still hasn't committed to more than $35 million, it has at least sent two carrier groups to the area. The modern US aircraft carrier is a floating city as well as an airport: it has the ability to generate electricity and purified water; it has a fully equipped modern medical facility; it has a skilled work force; it has aircraft available for transportation and search and rescue. I would assume that the military suggested this response.
Bush is still cutting brush at Crawford, rather than making a public statement of concern. I suspect that whenever he leaves his ranch an army comes in to replenish the supply of brush, because I never notice much growing in West Texas. Of course, he may have taken another header
while riding his bicycle and doesn't want people to see him.
Of note: China has only offered $3.5 million to the recovery effort, while Canada has already offered an initial $4 million. China is more interested in threatening Taiwan than helping its other neighbors.
Sweden has reported that approximately 1,500 of its citizens are missing in the affected area. Thailand is a popular winter vacation for Swedes.
Aid cannot reach the area as fast as anyone would like. The dismemberment of the roads and rail network impedes progress. The loss of thousands of small boats and the fishing gear that was on them has cut off an available of source food. Any crops in the fields are destroyed and the land has been salted
by the ocean water that washed over it.
The destruction is not over and it will be decades before there is anything like a return to normalcy.