Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The day the earth moved

At 9.0 on the Richter Scale, the largest measured earthquake in history rocked northern Sumatera in Indonesia on Dec 26th 2004. Deemed a "megathrust" by Geophysicists (a term used for the most powerful and immediate changes occurring in the earth's surface) the energy released by the earthquake was reportedly equivalent to the detonation of 9500 Hiroshima bombs.

The sudden shift was so great that it caused the entire earth to "wobble" on its axis, finally settling 6 cm eastwards from it's original location mere seconds before. It caused the Earth to rotate faster, shortening our daylight hours. It caused the earth's diameter to decrease. It permanently changed the local geography, shifting islands and the mainland of Sumatra by as much as 36m, and beneath the ocean the edges of the plates shifted vertically 18m. It spawned several deadly tsunami waves that claimed tens of thousands of lives in 11 or more countries.

The highest death toll from a natural event ever, 12 countries directly affected. 100,000 dead. 500,000 injured, dying, needing help. 5 million people left without the necessities of life - no drinkable water, shelter, food, sewers. 1 million people completely displaced with no where to go. 80,000 are missing. 473 foreigners reported killed, including 13 Canadians and 20 americans. Ottawa reports 69 Canadians are still missing or unaccounted for.

Measles, diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and dysentery; all diseases the W.H.O. believes might double the death toll before this disaster is over.

Estimated damage to buildings in the affected regions - at least $13.6 billion.

These people need our help. Please, if you can, help. If you do it before the end of the year you will even have a tax reciept for your 2004 taxes.

For updates (WHO)

For information on relatives/ friends: Canada High Commission and Embassies in the affected areasPosted by Hello

No comments: