Monday, December 27, 2004

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Unfortunately, this qualifies as a "mind-blowing" event

When I decided earlier this month to go on a brief blogging sabbatical, I said it was "barring some mind-blowing event." Regretfully, I think the earthquake and subsequent tidal waves in Southeat Asia qualify.

24,000 people dead. UPDATE: the latest estimate is approximately 44,000. It will likely increase further due to the poor health infrastructure in the affected countries. ANOTHER UPDATE: It's obviously higher than that now, but I'm not going to update the number further.

Just let that figure sink in for a minute.

A 9/11 attack -- six eleven times over.

For those who would like to help those affected by the earthquake and tidal waves, the Associated Press has a list of aid agencies that are directing funds towards that end. Here are the aid agencies listed in that report who have already posted about their activities on their web sites:

American Red Cross (International Response Fund)

Direct Relief International

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres

Mercy Corps

Operation USA

Save the Children (Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund)

Commenters are strongly encouraged to post URLs for relevant charities. UPDATE: The Command Post has more charitable links. This tsunami blog has more as well.

UPDATE: Here's InstaPundit's blog summary -- and Tim Blair is performing the thankless task of updating the death toll. It's still too early to estimate the aggregate economic damage, but it has to run into the tens of billions.

posted by Dan on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM


Here is the URL to Aid India

posted by: JK on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]


is the one stop for all aid and relief work for the people affected by the disaster.

posted by: JK on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Looking through my fingers:

As I sat at home on Christmas Day or just December 25th if you prefer, trying to avoid the harshness of the world I made a valiant effort not to turn to the TV. Trying to avoid the harshness of the world and enjoying my ability to sit in solitude and give Thanks for all that I have. Knowing that half way around the world in a war that has two sides there are people on both that don't have a moments time to reflect for a moments concentration means the difference between life and death. I then remember the other countries where not only because of the war but just due to the affliction of brutality have similar situations their entire lives to those that fight a war for a number of years. Just thinking about it is sickening. The cold tough brutal world humbles me in thanks for what I have and devastates my entitlement complex. Justice is thing of privilege not a basic human right. Whether this is right or not I'll leave for the politicians to debate.

Giving in to my very American addiction I faltered and landed on a button powering the television. As I live and breathe I sat in awe like a child at his first screening of the Shining. I looked through my fingers trembling with despair not able to believe what I was seeing before me. Tsunami? Not wanting to look, tormented by the humbling power of Mother Nature, I turn my head and shut it off again. After gathering myself I look again to see 24,000 fatalities and unimaginable devastation. What's it all for? Why have I been spared? The guilt pours over me survivor guilt for those that I have never even known.

May the natural forces of the universe have mercy on the whole of humanity.

Humbly Shaken,

D.J. Tardif

posted by: D.J. Tardif on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

It could have been a lot worse.

A 1991 tsunami killed 138,000 Bangladeshis.


Just in Bangladesh, not spread out among several countries.

Let *that* sink in for a minute.

posted by: Jon H on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Well, here's something for all of this that may end up bringing all of this close to home.

Mt St. Helens is back on the watch list, apparently as a direct result of the quake.

The USFS has shut down five miles from the foot of the mountain in every direction.

posted by: Bithead on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Here is the direct link to AID's donation page, just in case.

Please help.

posted by: KV on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Here is the direct link to AID's donation page, just in case. Sorry forgot to provide it.

Please help.

posted by: Krishnan on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

The Salvation Army is also taking online donations:

posted by: Christopher Johnson on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

The 1991 disaster was not due to a Tsunami, it was due to a supercyclone which hit and flooded Bangladesh. I think this is the first time in recent memory that there has been such a Tsunami disaster in that part of the world.

posted by: anon on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

For more information about the history of cyclones and supercyclones in the region:

posted by: anon on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

The horrifying thing is that the death toll is likely to rise still further. In 3rd world countries, especially in remote areas, medical facilities, clean water supply and relief facilities are often limited. Some of the Indian islands are quite remote and distant. Whats needed now is a massive relief effort. Money will help, but it will take a while before it can be deployed effectively.

posted by: erg on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]




Note: Some employers match your contributions to charities. So if you put 100 $ the employer would put another 100 $. This way you could double your contributions. Check with your employer and find out which charities are matched by your employer and make a donation to one of those charities.

posted by: BoshTang on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Hi Dan,

I am collecting lists of relief organizations, and other relief efforts in & around Bangalore (that is where I am based). I try to keep this list updated on my blog at


posted by: Rajeev on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

You can also donate through Amazon

posted by: Edward on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

One other donation site is World Vision:

posted by: kkh on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

We in the Indonesian Embassy have received many phone calls expressing their sympathy and condolences and asking how they may be able to help. It's so heartwarming. We have actually put in our website ( the address to where they can deliver their contribution, and I think your blog is another effective way to give such information:

National Coordination Agency for Disaster and Refugee Relief (BAKORNAS PBP)
Jalan H. Juanda No. 36
Jakarta 10110 - INDONESIA
Contact Person: Mr. Sugeng

Those who prefer to send financial donation may as well send it to the address above, or through the Embassy of Indonesia, 2020 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036 (Contact Person: Mr. Ade Wismar Wijaya, phone # 202-775-5212).

The Indonesian Embassy has also opened a book of condolences since yesterday.

posted by: Ellen on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

The International Rescue Committee is working to establish fresh water supplies in the affected areas.

posted by: Scott Ferguson on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Brutal. Of course, we're likely to see some idiot economist telling us that this helps economic growth.

posted by: austin mls on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

I just wanted to put something out here.
Why has there been such a strong international effort to help the victims of the earthquake in Asia and such a relatively smaller effort to help those in Darfur, Sudan?
Please don't mis-interpret what I am asking here, one cause is NOT more just than the other - I feel terribly for victims of both. However, it is worth noticing that one tragedy rallies the world and one does not.
Any thoughts?

posted by: Jennifer Henderson on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

TEAM is another good organization providing relief.


posted by: jw1776 on 12.27.04 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

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