Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
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Many thanks for your understanding.
This is the most horrific news story in a long time. Over forty thousand mums, dads, sons and daughters killed in one major natural disaster. If nothing else, then it certainly reminds us of the value and delicate nature of life. Of course, in reality the death toll will be much higher, once all of the unsurveyable areas are covered. On this scale, though, it’s almost as if the numbers don’t matter – how can you quantify the loss of 10,000 lives compared to the loss of 60,000 lives? They’re both tragedies of epic proportions.
In Galle, Sri Lanka, officials used a loudspeaker on a fire engine to tell residents to place bodies on the road for collection. Muslim families used cooking utensils and even their bare hands to dig graves.
What more horrific image can there ever be?
If you’re wondering what you can do to help in this situation, then there’s a fair summary on The Guardian’s Newsblog. Somehow, supporting relief agencies always seems so futile to me in the aftermath of such loss of life, but they do some sterling work, and we really should support them more. Relief Web have a good summary of everything that’s going on in South Asia to help the victims.