Now, this is a bit creepy. Since I wanted to read up on “Asteroid 2004 MN4”:http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/2004mn4.html – I found the “The New World-Wide Earthquake Locator”:http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/quakes/quakes.html only a few hours prior to the earthquake off the West coast of Northern Sumatra, that hit on 2004-12-26 at 00:58:50 UTC.
The Earthquake locator keeps a “list of earthquakes”:http://tsunami.geo.ed.ac.uk/local-bin/quakes/mapscript/demo_run.pl and they also have a “map of the earthquake”:http://tsunami.geo.ed.ac.uk/local-bin/quakes/mapscript/show_map.pl?lon=%2095.78&lat=%203.30&magn=8.9&mode=each_quake&layer=background&layer=plates
The Sumatra Quake was measured to be 8.9 on the “Richter Magnitude scale”:http://seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/100/magnitude.html making it “the fifth largest recorded earthquake since 1900”:http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2004/usslav/
*Update:* The quake has been updated to be a 9.0 quake. “The Australian”:http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11790614%255E1702,00.html has more.
The Richter Magnitude scale measures the seismic energy released by an earthquake. To put this quake into perspective, energy-wise: A 8.5 quake releases energy equivalent to an explosion of 5 billion tons of TNT, while a 9.0 quake releases energy equivalent to 32 billion tons of TNT.
In comparison: The bomb dropped over Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 had a yield of 20 000 tons (0.02 million tons of TNT)
*Update:* The largest magnitude earthquake recorded is the “Great Chilean Earthquake”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chilean_Earthquake on May 22, 1960, with a measured magnitude of 9.5.
Kenji Satake has an animated GIF showing “how the Tsunami spread”:http://staff.aist.go.jp/kenji.satake/animation.gif
h3. Too many dead
According to this “Reuters story”:http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7179121 over 3100 are feared dead.
bq. A wall of water up to 10 meters (30 feet) high triggered by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake swept into Indonesia, over the coast of Sri Lanka and India and across southern Thai tourist islands, leaving up to 3,100 feared dead in seaside towns and villages.
*Update:* According to a “BBC story”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4125481.stm the death toll is now over 7300.
*Update 2:* According to “this story in Norwegian Dagbladet”:http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2004/12/26/418568.html the death toll is now over 8 700. 4500 of these are in Sri Lanka, where more than one million people have become homeless due to the quake.
*Update 3:* The death toll is now “up to 22 000”:http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/27/asia.quake/index.html according to “CNN”:http://cnn.com/ — note that these are the _confirmed dead_ — thousands are still missing.
*Update 4:* The death toll is now “more than 33 000”:http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/28/asia.quake/index.html — according to “CNN”:http://cnn.com/.
*Update 5:* (2004-12-28 17:33:00) AFP is now reporting that “over 55 000 are dead”:http://www.afp.com/english/newsml/stories/041228145820.xlymh4qx.html
*Update 6:* (2004-12-29 21:16:00) AFP is now reporting that “over 80 000 have died”:http://www.afp.com/english/newsml/stories/041229183024.pckmj7rg.html
*Update 7:* (2004-12-30 16:44:00) The numbers, again according to AFP, now “nears 119 000”:http://www.afp.com/english/newsml/stories/041230143639.prc0508d.html
Wikipedia also has a good section on Damage and Casualties that is frequently updated.
h3. How to help?
While the humanitarian organizations haven’t yet updated their web sites to reflect this disaster, they probably are going to. You are encouraged to either contact a humanitarian organization, or donate.
* “International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent”:http://www.ifrc.org/
* “International Committee of the Red Cross”:http://www.icrc.org/ — “english site”:http://www.icrc.org/eng
* “International Medical Corps”:http://www.imcworldwide.org/loc_indonesia_tsunam.shtml
* “Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres”:http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
D. Keith Robinson also keeps a list of “organizations”:http://www.7nights.com/asterisk/archive/2004/12/asian-earthquake-relief that provide Asian Earthquake Relief.
h3. Are you missing someone?
If you are missing friends or family in the Tsunami disaster, and are looking for lists of missing persons on the web, you should instead contact an appropriate authority, as you are unlikely to find any authorative lists on the web. Appropriate authorities will usually be the ministry of foreign affairs, if you are not native to any of the countries struck by this disaster. If you are native to any of these countries, you should contact your local authorities and request help.
If you are missing someone on vacation in any of the affected countries, another viable alternative is to contact the travel agancy they were with, as they also may have information.
*Update:* (2004-12-29 01:53) There is now a “Tsunami Missing People Blog”:http://tsunamimissing.blogspot.com/ where you may post a missing person notice, or give notice that you are alive.
*Update:* (2004-12-29 17:53) Norwegian Citizens may report missing people through “VGs missing person service”:http://interaktiv.vg.no/spesial/flodbolgen/SISTE.html
In addition: If you are a Norwegian citizen, and you are in the East Asia region, and have no other opportunity to report to people back home that you are alive, you can use VG’s service to “report your whereabouts”:http://interaktiv.vg.no/spesial/flodbolgen/MELDDEG.html
h4. Hotline numbers
If you are missing someone, you can alternatively try the appropriate hotline number:
* *India:* +91 11 2309 3054
* *Maldives:* +44 20 7224 2149
* *Seychelles:* +248 321 676
* *Sri Lanka – residents:* +94 11 536 1938
* *Sri Lanka – tourists:* +94 11 243 7061
* *Thailand:* +66 2643 5262 and 2643 5000 ext 5003, 5002
h3. Historical disaster quakes
Searching NORSAR’s Earth Quake disaster search you can search for historical quakes from 365 AD until present day.
The search engine is in Norwegian, but search results are (mostly) in English. Mini-glossary, for the Norwegian-impaired:
* *Fra:* From
* *Til:* To
* *Minst antall omkomne:* Minimum death count
* *Dato:* Date
* *Styrke:* Magnitude (Richter)
* *Sted:* Location
* *Posisjon:* Geolocation
* *Drepte:* Killed
* *Annet:* Other
According to the search engine, the worst recorded natural disaster in recorded history was the 8.3 magnitude earthquake in the Shansi province of China, on January 23, 1556, killing 830 000 people.
h3. Further reading
* “Wikipedia: 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake
* “The Earthquake locator”:http://tsunami.geo.ed.ac.uk/local-bin/quakes/mapscript/demo_run.pl
* “Wikipedia: Earthquake”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake
* “British Geological Survey information site”:http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/latest_info.htm
* “The Emergency Management site of Australia”:http://www.aldridgeshs.qld.edu.au/sose/hazards/earthqks.htm has a generalized list of earthquake resources
* “Wikipedia: Tsunami”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami
* “International Tsunami Information Center”:http://www.prh.noaa.gov/itic/
* “Live Science: The Megatsunami: Possible Modern Threat”:http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041214_tsunami_mega.html
* “USGS: Life of a Tsunami”:http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/basics.html
h4. Current event searches
* “Google news search for ‘earthquake'”:http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=earthquake&btnG=Search+News
* “Google news search for ‘tsunami'”:http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=tsunami&btnG=Search+News
* “Google search for ‘sumatra earthquake'”:http://www.google.com/search?q=sumatra+earthquake
* “Google search for ‘asia tsunami'”:http://www.google.com/search?q=asia+tsunami
* “Feedster search for ‘earthquake'”:http://www.feedster.com/search.php?q=earthquake&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sort=date — “Feedster search as RSS”:http://feedster.com/search.php?q=earthquake&sort=&ie=UTF-8&hl=&content=full&type=rss&limit=15
* “Technorati search for ‘earthquake'”:http://www.technorati.com/cosmos/search.html?rank=&url=earthquake
* “The Tsunamihelp blog”:http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/
I will make periodic updates to this post, but if you have additional links, feel free to add them below.