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Dec. 30, 2004

Tsunami death toll over 147,000 in South Asia

by Alex Mazerov, Page Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been gathered from various stories from The Washington Post.

An enormous earthquake centered off the western end of the Indonesian archipelago unleashed a series of tsunamis in south Asia on Sunday Dec. 26, leveling villages, leaving millions homeless and killing at least 147,000 people in over 12 countries in the region. The disaster sparked an international effort to aid stricken areas.

According to The Washington Post, the 9.0 magnitude quake was the strongest in 40 years and the fourth- most-powerful since 1900.

The initial earthquake struck the western end of Indonesia's Sumatra island at 6:58 a.m. on Sunday, flattening buildings and sending walls of water as high as 30 feet into the towns and villages in the province of Aceh. The quake's epicenter was located 155 miles southeast of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.

The official death toll from the quake has continued to rise and is now at 147,457. The Indonesian government estimated that 101,318 people died on the island nation. Approximately 30,615 people were killed in Sri Lanka, 9,682 in India, 5,291 in Thailand, 68 in Malaysia and 90 in Burma, according to The Washington Post. Deaths were also reported as far away as Somalia, which is located around 2,400 miles west of the quake's epicenter.

Massive relief efforts from across the globe began immediately in the wake of the catastrophe. According to The Washington Post, rescue flights delivered supplies, including food, water and medicine, for millions of survivors around South Asia yesterday, but many towns still cannot be reached by relief workers.

The U.S. government pledged $35 million in financial aid for the relief effort, and President Bush said that amount is "only the beginning of our help." Government officials said that the U.S. will pledge substantially more as damage assessments are finished, according to The Washington Post. For now, the U.S. government has sent military personnel and equipment to stricken areas, as well health experts to help stem the spread of deadly diseases.

Other nations, including Spain, Japan, Britain, Australia, Germany, France and Denmark, have pledged millions in aid as well.

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  • Not from Asia on December 30, 2004 at 11:33 PM
    Wow, took you long enough to put something up even though it is a break, Chips. Seems like you and Pres. Bush both suffered from Eggnog Amnesia. I think Blair should start some sort of drive to help out those poor people, so anybody got good ideas other than another canned food drive?
  • blazer on December 31, 2004 at 12:58 AM
    ya i was thinking that we should like start a donation or something for the relief fund since America only gave 15 million dollars to help to relief fund while other countries like germany gave 27 million dollars. I know we're in war but dude 120,000 people are dead and 5 million people are starving and havent cleaned themselves in days, and most of them are children who have no family. So come on Blair!

    [Editors note: The US has pledged 35 million in aid]
  • blair student on December 31, 2004 at 10:28 AM
    it's about time..geez..instead of putting up actual news like this, you updated chips with junk about a harry potter book and a car?
  • g on December 31, 2004 at 2:10 PM
    great reporting, chips. it's hard to be timely when on break.
  • blazerCorrection on December 31, 2004 at 3:43 PM
    i believe the US gave 35 million
  • Anon on December 31, 2004 at 6:04 PM
    You know, I don't see why everyone is getting on SCO's back about not having a story up on this instantly. SCO's job is to relay news of interest to the Blair community to the Blair community. When there is an event or catastrophe like this one, SCO may choose to put something up if they feel that they can synthesize the information out there well. I am sure no one who read this article had not heard about the tsunami until they did so. Since SCO has no reporters on the ground in South Asia, it makes little sense to blame them for not putting up a story on it instantly, as the story has been reported numerous other places that are better equipped to do so.
  • i agree with anon on January 1, 2005 at 12:06 AM
    i agree with anon. maybe sco was waiting until they had more facts. or maybe they wrote the other stories before this one and then ran them before the one about the tsunami. i dont really care.

    if you are that upset about it, why dont you start writing for sco and write article in a more timely fashion?
  • blair student on January 1, 2005 at 9:28 AM
    to anon-given blair's extremely diverse student body, i can be almost certain in saying that it is of interest to our community as more than a handful of students from that area have been affected by this tragedy.

    to blazer-its actually 350 million, which is more than all the other nations combined gave. in addition to money, we are sending an aircraft carrier and troops to help.
  • blazer girl on January 1, 2005 at 10:01 AM
    yea, we should definitely set up a fund in school as soon as we get back. maybe SGA can help organize it
  • To not from asia on January 1, 2005 at 10:16 AM
    Several clubs are planning to get together to plan a large fundraiser, although we're not sure what we're going to be doing yet, as we haven't had time to meet in person.

    This disaster is not going unnoticed by the blair community.
  • blazer girl...again on January 1, 2005 at 11:00 AM
    i just read in the Washington Post that Bush increased it to $350 million! that's great news, and it's much much better than the lame $35 million we had before. but we should still set up the fund in school because the more help the better.
  • psh on January 1, 2005 at 3:45 PM
    To blair student: The US only increased the funding after a number of pressuring articles. Originally, we were only planning on giving the measely $35 million, which is, according to Vermont democrat Patrick Leahy, what we spend "every morning before breakfast in Iraq."
  • ? on January 1, 2005 at 11:33 PM
    Is it just me, or has the tsumani disaster de-romanticized the tsunami?
  • to psh: on January 2, 2005 at 5:33 PM
    Yes, but we still did it. And I'm sure it will be of immense help to hundreds of thousands of people.
  • fsjil on January 2, 2005 at 8:03 PM
    while i applaud SCO for having this story, and obviously the fact that people expect them to have this story up in a timely fashion demonstrates the credibility and high expectations the readers have. However, I am dissapointed that SCO hasn't kept updating this story on the constant changes that are happening.
  • realist on January 2, 2005 at 8:13 PM
    The administration likely had no concept of the enormity of this disaster. Remember: just five days ago the death toll from this was estimated at a little over 3,000.
  • how to help at blair on January 4, 2005 at 10:28 AM
    the sga will be accepting donations up until exams to donate to an orphanage in sri lanka. toss in anything you got, even pocket change.
  • brad on January 5, 2005 at 10:15 AM
    the US only pledged 35 million at first because they did not know the extent of the disaster and where exactly the money is needed. you seem to believe that you can solve problems by simply throwing large sums of money at them. what is more important is making sure enough money gets to where it is needed and is used properly, not how many millions or billions are given.
  • 07 on January 6, 2005 at 7:31 AM
    omg. 140,000. To put that in context, there was aprrox 58,000 Americans dead in Vietnam. Years of involvement in a war and it is barely a third of what happenned in one tsunami.
  • Bruce the Unhappy Refridgerato on January 6, 2005 at 12:18 PM
    I wonder where all this money is going to. Becasue cities and towns need to be rebuilt. Besides, most of the suplies will probably sit in piles for eternity
  • KIMBERLY (View Email) on January 15, 2007 at 3:17 PM
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