Friday, April 13, 2012

How did an entire island SURVIVE the tsunami?

This is required reading. It is a remarkable story on how did an entire population survived the 2004 tsunami.

The people of Simeulue Island are smart. And they are survivors. Most of the the people of Simeulue Island, just 40 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, survived the 2004 tsunami. Nearby Banda Aceh lost over 100,000 people. But the people of Simeulue have been taught a simple lesson from their grandmothers, “If an earthquake comes, we must always go and look at the beach. If we see a low tide, we must run for the hills.” In 2004, the locals new a “smong” was coming. On Simeulue island, off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, in the Defayan language the word is smong means tsunami. And when they felt the earthquake and saw the low tide, they ran. And their lives were saved.  Most of the 83,000 people survived. Even the buffalos knew something was wrong when the earthquake happened. The buffalo ran for the hills.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Tsunami today. A sigh of relief. Warning systems worked.

Around the world, thousands breathed a sigh of relief today.

As the Sydney Morning Herald and many other news sources reported early today, a magnitude of 8.6,   earthquake happened off the Indonesian province of Aceh. It was one of the largest ever recorded.
Yet the massive tremor, which was followed by an 8.2-magnitude aftershock, did not cause a severe tsunami such as the one on December 26, 2004, which devastated countries around the Indian Ocean and killed more than 200,000.

What is important to know is why didn't the tsunami happen? What was the difference? This article from the Sydney Morning Herald helps to explain the difference in how the horizontal and vertical movements of the sea floors and where the quake took place

Read more:

Fortunately, so far, there are no deaths reported from the earthquake.

The good news from this earthquake was the test of the new Tsunami Early Warning System. Within 6 minutes of receiving the news, authorities across S and SE Asia were warned, and sounded sirens and systems to tell people to move to higher grounds.

The San Francisco Chronical reported a quote from Thailand: "The warning system worked quite well," Smith Dharmasaraja, who headed Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center set up after the 2004 tsunami, said today by phone. "Officials know exactly what they are supposed to do."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stories of Survivors and Change after 8 years

Indonesia TsunamiSurvivor Returns To Home After 7 Years

15 year old Meri Yuranda was separated from her father and sister in Banda Aceh Indonesia during the tsunami. As an 8 year old, she was taken in by a women that made her beg on the streets. Later, she returned to her village of Meulaboh and found her family. A remarkable survivor story. Watch here.

Kids talk about what life was like in Indonesia when the tsunami hit. Unicef is helping restore life for the kids. Before the tsunami, military conflict made it difficult to even go to school. Now that has all changed. Watch the video here.

How has the Maldives Islands recovered after 8 years?
The tsunami hit the Maldives very hard. Life was difficult for the kids. How have people survived on the Maldives Islands, where 70% of the GDP was affected by the tsunami. 8,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Eight years later, there is still much damaged not repaired. Many people still live in camps due to entire islands and villages being destroyed. Watch here.

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