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40,000 dead – and toll still rising

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

40,000 dead – and toll still rising (Guardian)

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.

This 128th post was filed under: Tsunami 2004.

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