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oqvist

Indonesian Quake Kills 7,000 Plus

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Normally, we would not report this kind of news, but because of the resulting Tsunami that has innundated much of SE Asia, our concerns are for fellow flight simmers that may have been caught up in this disaster.With over 7,000 reported dead in Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and elsewhere, our thoughts go out to all, and to our fellow flight simmers in those areas. Reporting also states that hundreds of European and other tourists were caught in the floods at many holiday areas, including Phuket and the Maldives. Total devestation has yet to be fully reported, along with the final count of those lost.If you are a simmer living in any of the areas hit, please let us know you are okay here.

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Death toll now past 11,000. Tsunami blamed for over half.Glenn"If God would have wanted man to fly He would have given him more money"

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Toll now 21,000 souls. Grimm, very grimm. Many Western vacationers are victims.Glenn"If God would have wanted man to fly He would have given him more money"

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News reporting more than 24,000 dead now. I'm just speechless ;( .

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The real shame is the thousands of people needlessly killed many hours and hundreds/thousands of miles away from the quake that precipitated the waves...in the case of Somalia, hundreds were killed more than 9 hours after the quakes...the waves traveled 4,500 miles and still surprised them.It's not like this is the first time in relatively recent history this has happened. In 1960, a 9.6Mw quake off the coast of Chile killed more than 2,000 Chileans in the hours after the quake, 50-60 people in Hawaii 15 hours after the quake, and more than 100 in Japan more than 22 hours later.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, DC

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Bob,As someone who has set up earthquake and strong motion systems, it isn't quite that simple. The tools to set up a "warning system" are not that cheap nor that easy to install or monitor. Yes, one could argue that the Indonesian Government "should" have issued a warning, but the truth is that they didn't know even what was happening in Ache, let alone what the magnitude of the quake meant in terms of a Tsunami. The real truth is that all countries that have coastlines should and must set these systems in place. I set up the first stages of the Fijian earthquake monitoring system and I have some inkling of what I am talking about.

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Evidently, NOAA and USGS detected the tsunamis soon after the quake and tried desperately to notify the authorities in those areas. Where they were successful there were no public warning systems and in some cases they could not contact the agencies.This was the strongest quake in the world for the past forty years.God, be with those folks and lead them through.Glenn"If God would have wanted man to fly He would have given him more money"

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Tom; Very interesting...another one of your interesting talents. I agree...the Pacific rim countries set up a system after the Chilean and Alaskan superquakes in 1960 and 1964. No idea why other oceanic regions didn't learn from those painful lessons back then. But...once Indonesia was hit with the Tsunami, why weren't other coastal nations in the region taking action? The other thing I wonder about is shipping...there must have been a good number of vessels in the IO when that thing rolled through...haven't heard any stories yet about lost shipping.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, DC

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Hey All,IMHO there is more to it than just a warning system. People have to have someplace to go and some kind of organized (not a mad panic) way to get there rapidly. Even if warned I wonder how many could have got somewhere safe especially those in low lying areas (e.g. Sri Lanka) and I wonder how many would have been in places thought safe only to find out they weren't. The Monday-morning quarterbacking that is sure to come about after this event will be interesting. I'm just waiting for a truly "big one" to happen - something on the scale of an underwater landslide off the Hawaiian Islands that results in a tsunami that inundates eastern australia or an underwater landslide in the azores that inundates the carribean islands, florida and the eastern seaboard of the US all the way to the Adirondacks. All evidence says that both of these events have happened within geologic time and have the potential (likely to actually) to happen again - sometime. How many people live under active volcanos on the pacific rim - just bettin - not while I live here. I wonder how many people were killed when Lake Missoula's icedam in northern Idaho broke (last ice-age) releasing enough water blasting across eastern Washington and hitting the Columbia with enough water that the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers all are documented as flowing backwards - and it happened several times. We live in an age of relative geologic quietude - fortunately. I suspect that the reality is that relatively little can be done in the face of truly big geologic events. However warning systems are a good idea even if only to let people know. In my experience life is mostly about timing - being in the right place at the right time and not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That said yesterday's diaster is tragic - 24,000+ souls gone. May they Rest in Peace.Take Care! -Ed-

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Bob,There is a fallacy that a tsunami is this monster wave that crosses the sea, devouring ships in its path.I doubt you would notice a tsunami if you were aboard a ship in the Indian Ocean. The period of the wave is so great that it's more like a miniture tide.The real hazard to shipping is along the shoreline where the depth of the water plays into the equation. Prior to a tsunami's landfall and dependent on the size of the surge, a great volume of water is drawn out from the coastal areas followed by the inflow of water. This cycle causes damage to ships as their hulls hit bottom, ships slam into each other, or roll over, then are swept into pilings and structures.Bruce

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Bruce; Good point...it makes sense that it's the volume of water coming rapidly up onto the coastal shelf that causes the tall tidal waves. Just read an interesting article linked from the Diego Garcia news site. Looks like the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu saw what was happening, tried to warn a number of countries in the area, and couldn't find anyone to take the call in the soon-to-be-hit regions.http://news.independent.co.uk/world/scienc...sp?story=596482 And let's not forget the inevitable eventual impact of an asteroid somewhere in the ocean and what it could do.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, DC

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Hi Tom and All,First thanks for enquiring about the state of people living or travelling in the region affected by this catastrophy. Indonesia is the country I have been living in for more than 10 years now. I have seen several disasters happening here but this is by far the most devastating.The death toll is only known for the capital of the Aceh province. This is a very remote part of the world where, along the western coast tribes with no contact to the civilisation are living. It is admitted that roughly 1.2 - 1.5 million people are inhabiting the western tip of Sumatra. Full picture of the magnitude of the disaster will not be known before days or weeks. Remember no roads, no communication, very few planes and choppers and now people are scared to make a boat trip to that part of the coast. The government guesstimate is that the death toll for Indonesia could reach 30,000 +As to the warning systems. Apart from the cost which are an important factor for these countries one should bear in mind that Indonesia is made of 17,000 islands spread over 2,600 miles from west to east. Some of the regions are barely touched by civilisation, not fully controlled by central authorities and at times in rebellion against the same authorities. Very difficult to install, protect and monitor warning systems in this environment. Last but not least installations of this kind should be maintained and monitored. Indonesia does not have the proper expertise nor do they have the ability to fund such projects at least for the foreseable future. We foreigners living here get mixed feelings about the local authorities who do a great job when such an event occur but would not even consider preventive measures or basic strategic stocks of food, medicine, tents etc.. ThanksMichael

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There could have been no warning for many areas.Communications in the remote parts of for example Sri Lanka and southern India are very poor.Even if people there had had 20 minutes warning they could not have gotten out of the dangerzone.It might have saved some lives there, but it would have been hundreds on tens of thousands.In Africa I think noone even expected the tsunamis to reach that far, and there the communications are even worse.On the Maldives there would have been nowhere to hide at all. The waves rolled right over the entire islands without ever stopping.Atjeh is a remote area and embroiled in an armed uprising for decades. The Indonesian government doesn't have the capabilities to effectively warn the civilian population outside the largest cities and there's nowhere to go except into an insurgent infested jungle. Waiting for the waves and hoping is probably less dangerous there than fleeing into the guns of the rebels.About the only place that could have issued effective warnings therefore is Thailand, and I severely doubt it would have mattered there. The places hardest his are islands and remote fishing villages.Again places that are hard to evacuate (there's not enough ferries to ship everyone off those islands in one lift, and given the time involved the people would likely be hit in the ships or shortly after landfall on the mainland).What sickens me most of all is that the treehuggers are already claiming it's all because of global warming... Will they never stop there lies?

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