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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fellow Human Beings Afflicted by Tragedies, Quake & Tsunami

We are so sorry to witness your tragedy and suffering on what was once a paradise. You were looking for paradise on earth when you encountered the fury of an angry sea caused by an earthquake and resulting tsunami. We are so sorry to witness the huge devastation that washed away your loved ones, livelihood, businesses and land. Properties can be replaced but not the untimely disapparition of your family members. We were speechless watching you fighting for your lives. Tears rolled down our cheecks when we saw you trying to hang on to your children who, a few minutes earlier, were playing, running and catching the friendly waves. We could not stand watching you hanging on for your dear life while huge walls of waves were crashing around you. You were surrounded by water. You became lonely. We just hoped that we could do something to help you get out unscathed. The waves took away your possessions and those who meant the world to you, your husband, wife and precious kids. We would like you to know that we also cry with and for you. While we were getting out of the snow storms and rain around here in the Americas, we were stuck to our tv watching, hoping and praying that you would be reunited with your loved ones. In most cases, such was not the case. We are so sorry to see the broken bodies scattered all over the island. Banda Aceh is on our mind. So are Phuket Island's inhabitants and numerous tourists from Europe and the Americas.

This is truly a world event as evidenced by this list published by Sky News (sky.com):
Here is a list of the numbers of dead foreigners:

Sweden:: 59, missing 3,500

Germany:: 34, missing 1,000

Britain:: 35

France:: 22, missing 96

Norway:: 21, missing 462

Japan:: 18

United States:: 15

Italy:: 14, missing 700

Finland:: 14, missing 194

Switzerland:: 13

Australia:: 11, missing 111

Denmark:: 7, missing 24

Singapore:: 7, missing 18

Belgium:: 6, missing 215

Netherlands:: 6, missing 30

Austria:: 5, missing 16

South Korea:: 8, missing 10

Canada:: 5, missing 11

South Africa:: 4, missing 16

Poland:: 4, missing 43

Israel:: 3, missing 7

Brazil:: 2

Taiwan:: 2

Philippines:: 3

Poland:: 1

Taiwan:: 1

Russia:: 1

Colombia:: 1

New Zealand:: 1, missing 300

Czech Republic:: 1, missing 90

Turkey:: 1, missing 53

Croatia:: 1, missing 9

China:: 1, missing 7

Mexico:: 1, missing 4

Russia:: 1

Hungary:: missing 20

Ireland:: missing 20

Spain:: missing 11

Iceland:: missing 11

Luxembourg:: missing 11

Greece:: missing 9

Portugal:: missing 8

Malta:: missing 1

The images of destruction can not get out of our minds. Kao Lak's residents and resorts are no more. Yet, the beach is now calm. Only the debris and corpses from many countries are left behind.

It will take a long time before local residents of affected beach front areas can go back to normal. The officials of all these countries are concerned over the loss of much needed tourist revenue. "Most of the world-famous beaches and islets in six provinces in the South, including Kao Lak in Phangnga, Koh Phi Phi in Krabi and Phuket, have suffered heavy damage. With pictures of our devastated beaches and islands all over the international media, tourists will have no good reason to go there." It's clear that these provinces have lost many of their most precious attractions.

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Tsunami Relief Efforts Get Record Donations & Use of Battle groups from US Navy

"Compassion and love are not mere luxuries. As the source of both inner and external peace, they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species." Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium

"Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, militarism. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men and women." -Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testatment of Home: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to various newspapers reports and online magazines monitoring the donations by nations and individuals, there's been a huge pouring of donations to the ravaged countries of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and others. Yahoo.com and InternetWeek.com report that major relief organizations have received a record amount of donations from online donors. Once again, the Internet has found its due place in the social services. The Web has become a useful tool in gathering, providing information on all aspects of the rescue and relief efforts. It has allowed us to be part of the solution to all these problems caused by the disaster.

So far, donations have been sent to various organizations involved in helping others in the 11 or 12 stricken countries. Some of these organizations are Catholic Relief Services, Doctor without Borders, American Red Cross, U.S. Fund for Unicef and World Vision, Save the Children, International Medical Corps, International Mission Board, Christian Children's Fund, CARE, Baptist World Aid, World Hope International, Project Hope, OxFam America, Mercy Corps, International Rescue Committee, International Relief Teams, International Medical Corps, International Aid, Habitat For Humanity, Food for the hungry, Direct Relief International, ADRA International, Concern Worldwide, US.

Online donors use a combination of credit cards and Paypal.

What's more important is the fact that countries such as the US and India along with the local countries have put their military resources to the service of the victims and survivors. Two US battle groups from the navy with all the sophisticated helicopters have been providing much needed help and care in the affected regions. India has done the same thing. Many other countries sent their experts in various fields to help out. It's true that their countrymen are involved in the incident. That's the kind of response that was needed in the Haitian flooding. Everybody is God's creature. The response from online donors was not immediate either.

The Tsunami disaster is a much larger tragedy than that experienced by Haiti and even Florida during the recent hurricane season. The world is realizing that we are interconnected and interdependent.







How Can You Help in Disaster Relief?

Donations are the first step in aid. Here's a list of the organizations you can send cash to. Turn to the Internet to do so. Please give to web sites of legitimate organizations and beware of e-mails soliciting your credit card information. If you can't leave your job and family to help with the rescue, build schools and homes or run an orphanage, you can send in your monetary donations. Anything will help. Many of these organizations need volunteers. If you happen to have time and the means, put them to good use in the region.

Red Cross: Give to Red Cross

Baptist World Aid: Online Donations

Catholic Relief: Donate online

Christian Children's Fund: Give here

Concern Worldwide, US: Give to Concern Worldwide

Direct Relief International: Donate Online

Food for the Hungry, Inc: Feed the hungry

Habitat for Humanity International: Provide Shelter with your donation

International Aid: Give to International Aid

International Relief Teams: Donate Now

World Vision: Donate to World Vision Now

OxFam America: OxFam can use your donations

Mercy Corps: Donate

Save the Children: Donate to Save the Children



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Horrific Waves Add to the Popularity of Video Blogging and Podcasting



Source of this video: Tommy Lorenetsen et al.

The killer waves that devastated Phuket Island, Phi Phi, Kao Lak, Colombo, Banda Aceh and many other parts of the South East Asian region may have caused the diffusion of video blogging. Until the last week of December, many people were not too familiar with video blogging if they were not part of the tech community. With so many people all over the world wanting to see the rushing of the ocean onto the beach and land areas, video blogging will surely catch up in 2005.

If you want to see the effects of the waves on the affected regions, there are a few blogs to turn to:

1. Cheese and Crackers is the first blog that will offer you a great serving of pictures, text explaining the video and other tidbits. In the days after the earthquake and tsunami, Jordan Golson made a good move. He outran and outfoxed all the other established news channels and media to present his new creation. Since that time, it has been going like a wild fire. Jlgolson.blogspot.com presents more pictures of the Indian Ocean tragedy than any news programs whether they are TV or newspaper. That's the good thing about the Internet. If you want to see graphic pictures of the tsunami, the pictures are presented on the blog in the form of links to other blogs or websites. Credits and sources of materials published on the site are posted.

2. If you did not have the time to catch up with the news, don't worry. Blogsnow will keep you posted. Not only will you have access to the current news, but you will also tap into the site's archives. The information is arranged, presented in such a pleasing manner. There is no doubt that the owner of Blogsnow have created a good service. The ranking of the blogs is the main service offered by blogsnow.com.

Video blogs have recently made their apparition. They are here to stay. Now when you add video blog to podcasting, you will get a different brew. The times have come for the ordinary guy to have access to his own communications platform. The democratization of the communications channels are made possible by the Internet.




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