On December 27, 2004 no newspaper of the world knew any data other than the Tsunami. “TSUNAMI STRIKES,’ ‘BOLT FROM THE BLUE,” etc. were the headlines that underlined each newspaper’s mast-head. Yes, a deadly Tsunami had struck the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, on Dec 26.
No body except some was much aware of a Tsunami’. Tsunami’ is a Japanese word meaning ‘harbor wave’ it is the seismic sea waves, that are generated by tectonic displacements in the ocean bed. This displacement may be an earthquake, a landslide, or a volcanic eruption.
It causes a sudden displacement of water above and forms a small group of water waves having wavelengths equal to several thousand metres. Thus, on the sea level, it causes high waves, further causing destruction all around the region.
The December 26 Tsunami was caused by an underwater earthquake of magnitude 9.3 on the Richter scale the epicenter of the quakes is said to be near the waste of Sumatra island of Indonesia. From there, it spread across the ocean and reached even eastern coast of Africa. It has been the deadliest tsunami ever in recorded history.
The last deadly tsunami occurred in Phillipines in August 1976, killing 8000. Other tsunamis that caused havoc in history were the Nov. 1755 one in Lisbon, killing 60000; August 1883 one in Indonesia killing 36000; and the June 1896 one in Japan, killing 27000 people.
The recent tsunami has killed over 290000 people across all nations, like India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Somalia, Myanmar etc. Many people said to be in thousands, are still missing. In India, Tamil Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been worst affected. Sri Lanka and Indonesia have lost many lives, a loss that can never be compensated.
This tsunami has also affected European countries, especially Sweden, whose tourists were enjoying Christmas at tourist places like Thailand and Indonesia. It has badly harassed the economy of the affected countries.
Man has boasted too much of his creative mind. But before the nature’s fury he has gazed at what happened, unable to do anything. Tsunami is yet another reminder that man has not conquered nature and his creative science is still very limited. He has achieved a lot no doubt but still there is something which is beyond his control. Tsunami is one of them.
It is a bitter truth that nature is after all nature; we can’t understand its mysteries and hence can’t overcome it. What we can do is that we can first come forward with our helping hands to manage the disaster in the best possible manner and to give solace to the affected people. Help from various parts flooded in for the Tsunami victims. It is still not stopped .while newspapers and magazines published advertisements for relief fund, T.V. Channels also did so. Most of the government offices, employees contributed a day’s or a month’s salary.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) conducted Tsunami Relief Cricket Match in January and as a result, billions of dollars were contributed. Concerts and various shows conducted by TV chennels or film industry etc. were attended to and viewed on TV. By many people all over the world for the noble cause organisations like Red Cross, UNO etc. took part in the rehabilitation programmes for the affected people. The exact amount has not yet been told, but estimates show it to have reached thousands of billions of dollars.
It is our noble duty to help the victims as far as we can. We have to bring smiles on their faces.