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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Tsunami Money Missing, Governor ready to pay

from Phuketgazette.net

PHUKET CITY: Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura is prepared to pay 2.05 million baht out of his own pocket should he be found ultimately responsible for the tsunami aid money that was reported missing from Phuket Provincial Hall on February 15.

“Under administrative law, there is no way that government funds can just disappear,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “But don’t worry; if the legal process determines that the Governor must be held personally accountable, then I will accept the responsibility. I won’t have any problems paying back this amount of money,”

Few think the Governor was involved in the theft. An investigation led by then-Vice-Governor Supachai Yuwaboon, who, on March 11, concluded that the money had been “lost” through “poor accounting” by workers at the Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

In stark contrast to V/Gov Supachai’s conclusion, a police investigation revealed that a person had gained entry to a restricted room at Phuket Provincial Hall, cut a lock off the metal strongbox containing the money, pried back the cover and removed 2.05 million baht of the 2.4 million baht it contained.

There were no signs of forced entry to the restricted room, police said.

Phuket City Police on April 22 arrested Apichart Nooprod, Chief of the Finance Division of the Phuket Provincial Financial Office, for the theft.

The case was then transferred to Regional State Attorney’s Office in Surat Thani Province following K. Apichart’s claim that he could not be given a fair trial in Phuket.

However, the State Attorney’s Office ordered Phuket City Police to resume collecting evidence, but it was not until last month – some nine months after the theft took place – that police actually received the order, which was apparently lost between Surat Thani and Phuket.

By then, the annual police reshuffle had taken place and the officer responsible for the investigation, Phuket City Police Superintendent Pol Col Paween Pongsirin, had been promoted and replaced.

Still working in his old job, however, is suspect Apichart, who was released on bail immediately after his arrest.

Under Thai law, individuals accused of theft of government property must post bail of up to 50,000 baht, but Apichart, being Chief of the Finance Division, automatically received “credit” of up to 200,000 baht by dint of his rank as a government employee.

Apichart, who has yet to be formally charged by the courts, has consistently maintained his innocence.

The investigation continues.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Tsunami Database covering 4000 years available

From our email:
PSIgate has released a Tsunami Event Database that contains details of 2,413 events covering more than 4,000 years of tsunami records. It has been supplied by the US National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC).
Click here to access the database.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Chennai: AID India's Tsunami Relief Report

AID India has come out with an exhaustive report on the Tsunami relief efforts that have gone into Tamil Nadu. This report includes a chronology of the short-term relief efforts as also a lot of ideas for long-term relief as well, for those who are seeking such plans. The full report can be accessed at: AID India Report

Courtesy: AID India Website

Friday, February 04, 2005

Nine survivors rescued in the Andamans after 37 days

From a Reuters report:
Nine tribespeople have been rescued on Andaman and Nicobar islands more than a month after the tsunami struck, after getting lost in the jungles and surviving on wild boars and coconuts, officials said on Thursday.

[...]

The group, five men, one woman and three girls, fled onto a hilltop when the tsunami struck on Dec. 26, before getting lost in the jungles. They were finally found by a police search team near Campbell Bay on Great Nicobar island, after getting help from a more primitive tribe in the island's interior.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Andamans and beyond

Strong Eartthquake Jolts Nicobar Islands - Source

Earthquake shakes Kuril islands - Source

KAMTCHATKA - Source

Earthquake registered in Ingushetia, no damage or casualties - Tass

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ranong Fault Revived, and more earthquakes

Hay peoples, not sure if you really want to hear all these tsunami and earthquake news... But here are the links for those who are interested....



Tsunami revives passive Ranong fault near Phuket:

A one-kilometre crack has opened in the ocean floor north of Phuket, Thailand, sparking fears that the dormant Ranong fault has been revived following the Dec 26 undersea earthquake, reports Xinhua.

At Tambon Ratchagrud in Ranong district, north of Phuket, villagers have found a one-km crack on the ocean floor from which a steady stream of air bubbles are surfacing 500 metres offshore in Laem Son Bay.

The area is near the passive Ranong fault that has been inactive for years, said district chief Chanat Kaewbamrung.


sOURCE

ALSO



No need for concern, earthquake swarm it s a coincidence


Very contradictory statement came from seismologists in New Zealand: no need for concern, but keep a survival kit at hand .... Hem......


" A swarm of earthquakes that shook the lower North Island of New Zealand on Tuesday does not indicate a massive tremor is around the corner, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) has said"

Source





Earthquake in China

An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale hit Wensu county in Aksu prefecture of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at 14:28 Tuesday, according to an official with the regional seismological bureau.

  The Epicenter of the quake is 40 km north to Wensu county, which is 1,100 km away from Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang. No casualty was reported at the press time. Enditem




5.4-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE JOLTS SOUTHERN TAIWAN

Source





Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mechanisms necessary to ensure human rights in Aid Efforts

The Role of Human Rights in the Wake of the Earthquake and Tsunami:
A Briefing for Members of the Consultative Group on Indonesia
19 – 20 January 2005


In response to the earthquake and tsunami which devastated large parts of the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) and surrounding areas, the international donor community has pledged unprecedented levels of support and commitment to both immediate relief efforts and longer term reconstruction of affected communities. Amnesty International welcomes this recognition of global responsibility to those in need. In addition to urging donors to honour their pledges, Amnesty International also calls on the donor community to ensure that relief and reconstruction efforts are conducted within a framework that protects and promotes human rights. This requires meaningful support for, and insistence upon, mechanisms which ensure the implementation of relevant human rights principles.

Source

No help for the 'untouchables'?

KEEZHAIVANAGIRI, India -- Muthu Vellaithevan, a farm laborer who is part of India's untouchable caste, lost seven goats and a cow when massive waves lashed at his coastal village on Dec. 26. The water also swept away his thatch-roofed mud hut.

But he said his real problems began after the water receded, when he and his people found themselves the targets of aid discrimination by the fishermen of his village.

"Forty families from my community took shelter in a school building outside the village," recalled Vellaithevan, 35, a father of three. "But in two days, the fishermen's families at the shelter began troubling us. They did not allow us to sleep and eat with them. They did not want to be under the same roof with us. We were forced to leave. Our homes were destroyed and our children were hungry. Where could we go?"


Source

Japan issuesTsunami Warning, withdraws it half an hour later

Tsunami Warning for Japan

Reuters

According to press sources, the alert was withdrawn shortly afterwards
Source

Follows a week of minor earthquakes worldwide, among which:

Afganistan

Earthquake Measuring 4.4 in Magnitude Registered In
North-western Iran



Minor earthquake in BajhangNEPAL


A minor tremor measuring 5 on the Richter scale was recorded in Bajhang district at 2:28 p.m. on Sunday.

Acording to the Department of Mines and Geology, National Seismic Center, the tremor was around Surama lake of the district. nepalnews.com pd Jan 18 05

Caymans?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Corruption threatens Indian mercy

By Ranjit Devraj

NEW DELHI: India is a country notorious for middlemen who specialize in siphoning away development funds. And voluntary agencies are struggling to ensure that the deluge of monetary aid pouring in for the survivors of the Asian tsunami actually reach the ones most in need.

"We are trying to chalk up a methodology to ensure that the money we are collecting gets to the most marginalised people, especially women, children and Dalits (people outside the Hindu caste hierarchy)," said Swapnil Srivastava, speaking to IPS on behalf of 38 voluntary groups in New Delhi that have banded together - under the umbrella of the Indian Social Institute - for the relief effort.

Source

Friday, January 14, 2005

Thai Gov.`has aid priorities wrong' : victims aren't getting what they need

Phuket _ The government has taken a top-down approach in its relief efforts for tsunami survivors and therefore failed to give affected people the help they really need, a seminar on the aftermath of the Dec 26 disaster was told yesterday.

``The government does not give the people what they want but give them what they don't want. Some help urgently needed came so late while some that could wait came first,'' said Amporn Kaewnoo, a Community Organisations Development Institute worker.

Speaking at the seminar on ``The Giant Waves: The Turning Point of the State and Society'' held in Phuket by the Bangkok Post and Post Todaynewspapers, Mr Amporn said the government should have asked first.


Permanent houses being built by the government could wait. It was more urgent to take homeless victims, particularly pregnant women, children and the elderly, out of small tents and put them in temporary shelters to make them more comfortable, Mr Amporn said.

Up to 150 villages were affected in the six southern provinces hit by the tidal waves _ Phuket, Phangnga, Krabi, Ranong, Trang and Satun, with Ban Nam Khem in Phangnga's Takua Pa district being the hardest-hit, he said.

His team was taking care of six to seven camps housing 3,400 survivors from 855 families, mostly from the Khao Lak beach area in Phangnga.

``There is no need for quick construction of permanent houses. The government should have consulted the people and communities first or chances are those houses may be deserted,'' he said.

Fishermen, for example, needed to have their houses close to the sea so they could take care of their boats, he said. ``Building houses deep inland is useless because fishermen are not going to stay there.''

Mr Amporn said what fishermen needed most from the government now were boats, engines, nets and other fishing tools so they could start making a living again.

Anchalee Wanit Theppabutr, chairwoman of the Phuket provincial administrative organisation, said many survivors called the permanent houses being built by the government at 100,000 baht a unit ``cartoon houses or dolls houses''.

She also said the government must not make all Phuket beaches ``look the same'' in its rehabilitation campaign because each beach was different.

``Don't do anything for the people without listening to them first,'' she said.

Mrs Anchalee said Phuket people in general welcomed the government's views and opinions about how the beaches should be rehabilitated.

Patong, Phuket's most popular beach, was regarded as the island province's ``reception room'' for an average of about 30,000 visitors daily, she said, while Kamala beach was more of a residential area. ``Let's think together what we should put into that `reception room' or what Kamala beach should be like.''

Mrs Anchalee said Phuket must leave its shocking experiences behind and move on, adding she expected things to return to normal by the end of next month.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, meanwhile, said in Bangkok that the government was helping tsunami survivors as fast as possible.

Responding to complaints that government assistance was not reaching most of the affected, he said thorough identity checks were necessary before cash aid or relief supplies could be handed out.

Mr Thaksin assured that the spending of a 90-million-baht fund by the PM's Office during the New Year period to help tsunami-affected people was ``transparent''. All the money went to help those in Phangnga's Takua Pa district, he said.

The setting up of a computer database to store information on the affected people would be completed this week, and after that the financial aid worth over 69 billion baht, approved by cabinet on Jan 11, could be distributed, he said.

``Money can be given out two weeks after the disaster. That is quick. In the Northeast, people had to wait for three or four months,'' he said.

The 150 permanent houses being built for survivors in Ranong would be completed in mid-February and another 500 in mid-March, Mr Thaksin said.

The government also had assistance measures and financial support for people made jobless by the tsunami, and affected businesses, both big and small, he said.


Source: Bangkok Post

Panellists confident Andaman coast will recover but not without challenges

Andaman Sea coastal areas that relied heavily on tourism are set to make a “reasonably quick” recovery due to aggressive international marketing campaigns and the fact that damage wrought by the tsunami both to the environment and to the tourism infrastructure were less severe than had previously been speculated.

This assessment was made by a panel of officials and private-sector members who have been working tirelessly in affected areas. They all agreed that almost three weeks after the disaster struck, conditions in the tsunami-hit region could now be more accurately assessed.

The roundtable, held yesterday at the Metropole Hotel, organised by The Nation and The Phuket Gazette, reviewed the situation in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.

The outlook for the region – a top international tourist destination before December 26 – was not without “challenges” and “causes for concern”, panellists agreed. International tourists are expected to stay away from the region in the immediate future and accordingly the panellists called on the Thai government to help promote southern coastal resorts to Thai citizens over the next few months.

Panellists said that in the wake of the disaster, many people

panicked and over-estimated the impact of the disaster. Authorities conducting assessments now have determined that the situation is not so dire.

The ecosystem had been damaged less than was earlier expected, panellists heard, with the coral-reef system having largely escaped the tsunami’s onslaught. Moreover, only about 20 per cent of the 30,000 hotel rooms in the region were affected.

These assessments have caused the Tourism Authority of Thailand to begin offering promotions to international and local tourists in an effort to reclaim the area’s former status among Asia’s beach destinations.

TAT regional director Sethapon Chindanon said the agency had come up with short-term, mid-term and long-term action plans to win back the confidence of international and regional tourists.

Short-term measures include organising visits by the international media and tourist agents to the affected areas over the next couple of weeks, as well as the issuing of an official assurance that the areas are safe to visit from the Ministry of Public Health.

A “hard-sell” period will follow in which TAT representatives will attend international trade shows to attract tourists, mainly in Europe.

Sethapon said that the agency was aware that people from different countries would visit Phuket after the tsunami for different reasons.

For example, he expects many Chinese to celebrate Chinese New Year in Phuket, but expects fewer Scandinavian tourists because of the heavy loss of lives those nations incurred.

“We have to differentiate the markets,” he said.

TAT plans to offer customised travel plans, including a “tsunami-trail” tour covering areas hit by the tidal waves, and packages for international aid volunteers.

The campaigns, featuring slogans like “Andaman Sunshine”, will focus on the hospitality of the Thai people made so well-known through the world press in the tsunami’s aftermath.

Sethapon said that from February to March the TAT would promote Andaman coastal areas in international travel and tourism conferences as well as in a travel event to be held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in which discount travel packages would be on offer.

Over the long-term, he said, tsunami-hit beaches would be redeveloped, with special attention paid to preserving the natural beauty of the area.

Niphon Phongsuwan, a coral-reef biologist at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC), said that, contrary to an initial estimate, only 5 per cent of the overall coral reef in Phuket was destroyed by the tsunami.

“We’ve found very minor destruction in the coral reefs ,” he said.

Most of the coral reef around Patong beach remained intact and less than 20 per cent of the reef around Phi Phi island was destroyed, he said. About 5 per cent of the coral reef around Maya beach was also affected. The centre has said that diving sites in Phuket do not need to be closed but sites off Koh Phai near Phi Phi island should be shut down.

Niphon said that removal of debris would be the primary challenge in rehabilitating the coral reef.

He also said that underwater alternatives to the coral reef, such as underwater shipwrecks, could be promoted to divers.

Phummisak Hongyok, President of the Phuket Real Estate Club and a former mayor of Phuket town, said that hotel operators would suffer if tourists did not return soon.

He urged the government to attract domestic tourists to help mitigate the effect of the drop in foreign tourists over the next few months.

Bill Barnett, a hotel and property-development consultant, said that the international media has continued to paint a dire picture of post-tsunami Phuket.

He said that in fact up to 80 percent of hotel rooms on the island were not affected by the waves, but that hotel occupancy rate plummeted from 85 to 15 per cent.

Barnett urged the government to launch proactive tourism public-relation campaigns to rescue the island’s economy and tourism industry.

The round-table discussion was conducted in English and was moderated by Nation Multimedia Group’s assistant group editor Kavi Chongkittavorn.

Source: The Nation

Burmese workers in Thailand caught in a vicious circle

Win Soe, a 19-year-old Burmese worker, spent days searching for her parents and two brothers who went missing from a fishing boat anchored off Ban Nam Khem in Phang Nga.

She has now given up the search, convinced that the December 26 tsunami took her family.

Alone and in despair, all she wants to do is go back home to Burma, but her employer refuses to release her from her employment contract.

Thousands of Burmese migrant workers who survived the deadly catastrophe are facing the same grief and uncertainty as Win Soe.

To make matters worse they are receiving little, if any, relief.


Many, like Win Soe, have been unable to break their contracts, while many others who wanted to stay on and search for missing relatives have been deported.

Swiss Ambassador to Thailand Hans-Peter Erismann expressed concern over the fate of Burmese workers because of the treatment they are receiving.

“I don’t know how to help them,” he said in an interview.

More than 120,000 Burmese workers are employed in the six southern provinces, working on fishing boats and rubber plantations. About 10,000 of them were directly affected by the disaster, said a social worker who monitors migrant workers in Thailand.

An estimated 600 Burmese alone working on fishing boats in Ban Nam Khem vanished in the killer tsunami, said Pranom Somwong of Action Network for Migrants (Thailand).

Of the 3,700 still unidentified corpses, about 1,000 are believed to be Burmese, said Surapong Kongchantuk, from the Law Society.

The authorities were not providing proper assistance to the Burmese and most were afraid to ask for help because of a police crackdown on the workers, which began after reports that some Burmese were involved in looting, he said.

Immigration police are repatriating Burmese workers because officials be-lieve they took part in looting in devastated areas after the tsunami, sources said.

Immigration police had sent back 1,500 Burmese workers in the first two weeks following the tsunami, while about 500 Burmese were detained in Ranong pending deportation, Surapong said.

“It is inhumane to send them back while they are suffering. They should be given the basic necessities like other victims,” said Surapong, who is the Law Society’s vice chairman of the human rights sub-committee on ethnic migrants.

Fearing arrest and expulsion, many Burmese have fled into the jungle and are begging food from temples in the Phang Nga’s Khura Buri district. Many of the injured ran off after receiving only basic medial attention.

Supalak Ganjanakhundee, Subhatra Bhumiprabhas

The Nation

------

Crematorium blows up from overuse

A temple’s crematorium in Phang Nga cracked open after non-stop cremations of tsunami victims.

Phrakru Wibulwetchasit, abbot of Lak Kaen Temple in Thai Muang district, said yesterday that the incinerator had overheated after being used for days and split into pieces. It was beyond repair and a replacement would cost over Bt1 million.

Chakratham Thammasak, director of the National Buddhism Office, said Bt46 million has been requested to allocate to temples in six southern provinces.

Monks have been working overtime conducting funeral rites and cremating corpses. Some monks had died and others were injured in the catastrophe. Temples had been swept away by the giant waves and had to be reconstructed.

A committee will be set up in each province to be headed by provincial chief monks and advised by the Region 7 chief monk to oversee funding for rehabilitation and reconstruction of temples.


Source: The Nation

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

FAKE TSUNAMI 'CHARITY' SCAMS


UK 12:00 - 12 January 2005
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is warning people to beware of scams taking advantage of public generosity following the tsunami disaster.

There are reports around the country of attempts to trick people into handing over bank account details - or money - on the pretext of it being used to help victims.

www.dec.org.uk

Story

EARTHQUAKE AFTERMATH : Geologists: The South of Thailand has changed

Region’s risk level may be upgraded in wake of December 26

The seismic hazard level of the South might have to be increased from zero-low risk to moderate-fairly high risk because the recent Sumatra earthquake and tsunami have had a profound effect on the region’s geological structure, leading earthquake experts have warned.

The most visible indicators are the ongoing soil collapse, which has created a series of sinkholes all over the region. The largest of the 18 holes found in the past two weeks by the Department of Mineral Resources is in Nakhon Si Thammarat, measuring 20 metres in diameter and 10 metres deep.


“This is part of the aftershock effect, which could take several months,” said Assoc Prof Panya Charusiri of Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Geology.

“We are lucky that the sinkholes so far have mostly occurred in forests or on farm land. Imagine what would happen if they took place in the middle of a town,” he said.

“I don’t wish to create panic, but this is something we need to closely monitor to alert the public before it’s too late again.”

He said the devastation wreaked by the recent tsunami had ironically boosted the moral ground of seismic experts to issue public warnings of possible natural disasters in the future.

The closest the sinkholes have come to communities are in Krabi’s Ao Luek district, where the ground inside a palm oil refinery plant subsided a day after the tsunami hit. They were about 6.5 metres wide and four metres deep.

Fourteen of the 18 sinkholes were found in Satun.

The Mineral Resources Depart-ment has dispatched three teams of experts to monitor the sinkhole phenomenon.

Dr Adichat Surinkum, director

of the department’s Geotechnic Division, said concerns had been raised because the region has a

geological history of wide sinkholes, the largest of which is known today as Talay Bun Lake, which covers several hundred rai of land in Satun province.

“Although we cannot conclude for sure that Talay Bun was created by a tsunami or an earthquake because of our limited studies on geological structure in the region, we want to be on the safe side,” Adichat said.

“We have declared several ‘danger zones’ to warn people to stay away. We also told them how to observe occurrences of sinkholes, such as loud cracking noises underground.”

Chaiyaporn Siripornpibul, a senior hydrologist from the Department of Groundwater Resources, said most sinkholes had occurred on ground supported by thin layers of limestone. A series of violent attacks by tsunami waves shakes underground water, which in turn increases the pressure within the underground geological structure and causes the collapse of the limestone surface. Many sinkholes are naturally filled up later by water.

“The effects were not confined to the six affected Andaman provinces,” Chaiyaporn said.

“The sinkholes and ground vibrations occurred in many areas along the Gulf of Thailand, such as Hat Yai, Chumpon and Nakhon Si Thammarat. In fact, we also have reports of underground water vibrations as far as the Central region.”

Panya said that although the South is home to two active faults – the Ranong and Klong Marui faults – the region has received little attention from seismologists because of minimal tectonic activity in the past. Of the 0 to 3 scales of seismic risk, the South was ranked between 0 to 1, which indicates zero to low earthquakes.

However, it is believed that the occurrence of an earthquake as strong as 9 on the Richter scale, such as the one in Sumatra, means that the geological structure of the region has been changed. Panya said the seismic risk map should be revised to increase the South to level 2 or higher, which indicates moderate to fairly high risk.

“I have to admit that we have concentrated our studies in the North and West in the past because they are at level 3 on the risk scales, and the two regions have experienced many more active faults,” Panya said.

“I have just drafted a new research proposal to include the Ranong and Klong Marui faults because we need to know much more about them now.”

Dr Tortrakul Yomanak, president of the Engineering Association of Thailand, urged tighter regulations to control buildings in the region to require high-rise structures to include earthquake-resistance technology.


Source: The Nation

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Human Hand behind earth disaster?

Industry News on January 11, 2005 at 4:51 AM

Was this an earthquake creation experiment that ran out of control? Many countries are working on methods of creating massive earthquakes as means to defeat the enemy. The technologically advanced countries are working on this project.

If an earthquake and Tsunami can be created artificially and directed to a specific enemy, it can literally create havoc to the enemy.

Link to story

AINT NO GEOLOGY EXPERT, BUT ....

Earthquake: Coincidence or a corporate oil tragedy?
Publication Date : 2005-01-09
Now I don’t claim to be an expert on seismic activity, but there has been a series of events which led up to the 9.0 earthquake of the coast of Indonesia which can not be ignored. This all could be an enormous coincidence, but one must look at the information and choose for themselves whether there is anything to it.

On November 28th one month ago, Reuters reported that during a 3 day span 169 whales and dolphins beached themselves in Tasmania, an island of the southern coast of mainland Australia and in New Zealand. The cause for these beachings is not known, but Bob Brown, a senator in the Australian parliament, said "sound bombing" or seismic tests of ocean floors to test for oil and gas had been carried out near the sites of the Tasmanian beachings recently.
Link

Turkey rocks

Moderate earthquake shakes Turkey's Aegean coast
11/01/2005 - 08:51:55

A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck Turkey’s southern Aegean coast, sending residents into the streets in panic, the Anatolia news agency reported. At least one person was injured.
The quake hit at 01:48 a.m. (11.48pm Irish time) and was centred on the province of Mugla, the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said. Several aftershocks followed.
Quakes are frequent in Turkey, much of which lies atop the active North Anatolian fault.
Two devastating earthquakes killed about 18,000 people in north-western Turkey in 1999.
Link

Earth's rock around the clock

Usa rocks today 12 Jan 05

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake shook the Coachella Valley early today, according to reports from the United States Geological Survey. The quake occurred at 12:10 a.m. and was centered 7 miles east of Desert Hot Springs. A dispatcher with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department said they received some calls from residents unsettled by the temblor, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Source

Earthquake Tolls Southern Peru
11 January 2005 | 20:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Lima. An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale rocked the southern parts of Peru. The quake was registered 765km east of Lima. The US Seismological Institute announced that it was centred 154km beneath the earth’s surface.
Source



MANILA, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Hundreds of families fled home for fear of a possible tsunami after moderate volcanic earthquakes hitthe northern Philippines, a local TV reported Monday. Quoting a Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) report, the ABS-CBN news channel said that the first earthquake in Taal Volcano occurred at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, with an intensity 3 on the Richter scale, and an intensity 2 quake was also recorded a minute. Some 300 families, who left home and sought shelter at the public market and school, have been advised to remain calm since that volcanic quakes do not usually result in tsunamis, the TV report said.
Source




Earthquake Registered In South-Eastern Iran
Teheran. A 3.7-magnitude earthquake has been registered in South-Eastern Iranian province of Kerman, RIA Novosti reported, citing the geo-physical centre of the Teheran University. There are no reports for casualties or devastation.
Source


EARTHQUAKE ROCKS EASTERN TAIWAN
2005-01-08 22:36:21
Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 on the Richter scale rocked eastern Taiwan Saturday. No casualties were reported.
Source


4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shook Bolivia
8 January 2005 | 17:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Potosi. A minor earthquake measuring 4.8 on Richter’s scale has been registered in the region of the town of Potosi in Bolivia. According to the National Seismological Institute if the US, the earthquake’s epicentre has been at about 168 km deep. Until now no casualties or devastation is reported.
Source







Sinkholes in Thailand

The seismic hazard level of the South might have to be increased from zero-low risk to moderate-fairly high risk because the recent Sumatra earthquake and tsunami have had a profound effect on the region’s geological structure, leading earthquake experts have warned.

The most visible indicators are the ongoing soil collapse, which has created a series of sinkholes all over the region. The largest of the 18 holes found in the past two weeks by the Department of Mineral Resources is in Nakhon Si Thammarat, measuring 20 metres in diameter and 10 metres deep.

“This is part of the aftershock effect, which could take several months,” said Assoc Prof Panya Charusiri of Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Geology.


Link to story

Sinkholes appear in Perak Malaysia,

IPOH, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Seven sinkholes appeared in Perak, with six around here, after the massive underwater earthquake in north Sumatra on Dec 26.

State Mineral and Geoscience Department director Mohamed Noor Ayoob said his department had still not establish the actual link for the appearance of the sinkholes with the earthquake but did not rule out the possibility the sinkhole incidents were related to the earthquake.

Of the seven sinkholes, the biggest, measuring 300m by 100m, appeared in a jackfruit orchard at Kampung Kuboi in Jeram, Kampar, which was quite unique in that 45 sinkholes of various sizes sprouted till last Wednesday.

"There is a possibility the seven sinkholes are related to the earthquake but this is the first time many sinkholes appeared at one time.

Before the earthquake, there was no reports of sinkholes emerging in big numbers," he told reporters Monday.


Original story here
www.bernama.com


Link to story

Met dismisses threat to Thailand

In an official announcement this morning, the Thai Meteorological Department said that it had assessed the latest earthquake situation, and could confirm that there were no earthquakes which could pose a threat to the country's southern Andaman provinces of Ranong, Phang-nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang or Satun.


Link to story

International forces unravel disaster victim identification system, it s a first

By Ed Cropley

PHUKET, Thailand (Reuters) - Interpol and 20 national police forces have

launched history's biggest disaster victim identification system to unravel the

mesh of forensic data from the bodies of more than 5,000 tsunami dead in

Thailand.

"This is like a world first," said Jeff Emery, an Australian police forensic

expert in charge of a team of about 60 detectives, doctors and pathologists

from 20 countries. "It is using the world's best and latest technology."

Link to story

Monday, January 10, 2005

Earth Still Shaking Bad


Earth Still shaking, yesterdays talk
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050109-100854-4173r.htm



Sunday evening there has been a new quake, Japan
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050109-052631-7039r.htm



Monday Morning New Sumatra Quake
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050109-052631-7039r.htm



China 4 hours ago
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-01/10/content_2439062.htm

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Burmese toll could be higher inThailand

Kin may be reluctant to identify bodies

While Burma's reported death toll from the Asian tsunami might be less than 100, it may have lost many more people off the beaches of Thailand who have not been identified by relatives for fear of being deported, said the Law Society of Thailand.

``There are 60,000 registered Burmese workers plying their trade in the six southern provinces hit by the destructive tidal wave,'' said Surapong Kongchantuk, vice-chairman of the society's Subcommittee on Human Rights, Ethnic Minorities, Stateless People, Migrant Workers and Displaced Persons.

``Many have died in the natural disaster, but are still left lying in Yanyao temple, a makeshift morgue, waiting for a relative or a friend to take them home,'' he said.


But that will not happen anytime soon because most of those still alive are on the run from the authorities and have taken refuge in the mountains behind the once picturesque Khao Lak beach, Phangnga, said Mr Surapong.

Khao Lak beach, in Takua Pa district, was a thriving, new holiday town before the tsunami devastation and is believed to have had many Burmese migrant workers in the hotels and restaurants.

With migrants on the run, said Mr Surapong, it is more difficult for Thais to identify their loved ones because both peoples look similar.

So far, 1,500 workers have been sent back to Burma. On Friday, another 500 were moved from Phangnga to Ranong, ready to be shipped off. The police say the workers are the cause of thefts and break-ins at tsunami-damaged hotels.

Immigration police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Ammarin Niamsakul, however, said registered workers whose employers were killed in the catastrophe would be helped.

``It is hard to tell who is legal or illegal as these people have lost their belongings in the traumatic incident or their work permits were taken to the grave with their employers,'' he said.

Mr Surapong said the crimes are mostly committed by Thais. Out of 27 recent arrests for theft and break and entry, 20 were reportedly Thai nationals.

The government, said Mr Surapong, has a legal duty to provide care, comfort and medical assistance to everyone, and not pick and choose for marketing purposes or to cut costs.

``Saving the life of a Burmese will not bring in more tourists or earn worldwide admiration. You only get a sense of pride and pleasure,'' he said.

By sending these people back, said Mr Surapong, employers will not have to pay them compensation or take care of other social issues involving legal migrants.

By applying this policy, the state is actually forcing migrant workers to become criminals as another means of survival.

Source: Bangkok Post

Friday, January 07, 2005

Before/After Photos Capture Tsunami's Wrath

An enterprising netizen has created a series of before/after photos in which you can toggle back and forth by clicking a button. Each set of before/after photos is in-sync with each other, overlaying exactly on top of each other for greatest effect. The pictures capture the wrath of the tsunami in all its horror, washing away islands and altering the landscapes of Sri Lanka and Sumatra.

About 1,500 Finns are still missing in Thailand

Out of approximately 2,000 Finnish visitors to Thailand that went missing after last week’s killer tsunami, only 500 have so far been located, Thai authorities said yesterday.

Finland’s Minister for Social Affairs and Health Sinikka Monkare and Finnish Ambassador to Thailand Heikki Tuumanen thanked the Kingdom for its handling of cases of Finnish tourists missing, injured and killed in the wake of the tragic disaster that ravaged Thailand’s Andaman coast on December 26.

The Thai authorities welcomed Finland’s stated willingness to help Thailand set up a tsunami warning system.

The Thai Public Health Ministry, meanwhile, received durable goods, medical supplies, medicines, foodstuffs and other goods worth more than Bt25 million donated by 168 Finnish companies.


Monkare and Tuumanen voiced their appreciation during an assembly at the Sofitel Central Plaza Hotel.

Thai authorities pledged to spare no effort in locating the missing Finnish tourists.

The Finnish government will provide DNA blueprints of relatives of the missing for possible matching with DNA samples already collected in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany yesterday recalled his ambassador to Thailand for failing to break off his vacation in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, Agence France-Presse reported.

The ambassador, Janos Vandor, was on holiday in Hungary during Christmas and New Year and only returned to his post in Bangkok on January 5 – more than a week after the tsunami claimed nearly 150,000 lives in southeast Asia.

“After a review of the case, I ordered the [foreign] minister to recall Janos Vandor with immediate effect and relieve him” of his position, Gyurcsany told a press conference in Budapest.

The foreign ministry said that only five of the hundreds of Hungarian tourists in the region at the time of the tsunami remained unaccounted for. Three were in Thailand and one each in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ham radio waves make ripples worldwide

NEWINGTON, CT, Jan 4, 2005--

"The immediate, organized and heroic response of the ham community in the Indian Ocean rim not only alerted the world of the seriousness of the situation, but saved lives by allowing responding agencies to coordinate early efforts to minimize further casualties and damage." ~Pitts, W1AGP.


News coverage about Amateur Radio's role in the tsunami relief effort have been widespread and positive. High-profile articles in the past few days have appeared in The Washington Post and the Orlando Sentinel in the US as well as in several South Asian news sources, including The Times of India and The
Hindu. Other media, including Agence France Presse, the Wall Street Journal and MSNBC, also have run reports on the value of Amateur Radio in helping to open lines of communication cut off when the earthquake and tsunami struck December 26.

Read more at http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/01/04/2/?nc=1

Helen Keller Foundation contributes to relief efforts

The Helen Keller International Foundation has been contributing to the tsunami disaster relief efforts by providing nutritional supplements to children, assessing living conditions and directing clean water, shelter, food, sanitation and medical care to those in need in Aceh and other affected areas in Indonesia.


Contact information:
Helen Keller International
352 Park Avenue South
Suite 1200
New York, New York 10010
TEL: 877-KELLER4 (877-535-5374)
FAX: 212-532-6014
SITE: www.hki.org

Benefit Concert in NYC - 6 JAN 2005

"When times get rough, and friends just can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down..."

~Simon & Garfunkel

A benefit concert for tsunami victims will be held in NYC in support for the 11 countries affected, the 140,000 people reported dead and the 5,000,000 homeless

LOCATION: Crash Mansion @ BL'VD. 199 Bowery Street (at Spring).
TIME: 7:15pm - 11pm
COST: $10 at the door (additional donations encouraged)

100% of proceeds collected at the door will go to charity. Donations will be split between The American Red Cross and Oxfam.

PERFORMERS as of 1/02/2005 (who have all donated their time and talents)

-TINA SUGANDH
http://www.tinasugandh.com
http://www.stuffmagazine.com/cover_girls/html/girl_398.html

Kabir Kamboh: http://www.kabirkamboh.com

Carlos Andres Gomez: http://www.excelanoproject.com

Aalok Mehta: http://www.musicaalok.com

Sparlha Swa: http://www.sparlhaswa.com

Blue Great: http://www.poetryisalive.com

Keith Boogie: http://www.nypoets.com/Poets/brown_k.htm

Sunny Jain: http://www.jainsounds.com

Angel: http://www.nypoets.com/Poets/angel.htm

Hostage, Helena D. Lewis, Kevin Dowdell, Nishi Rajan, Monica Dogra, J.P. Grant, Joslyn John, Roy Simpson, Shalini Sekhar, and many more!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Latest News: Thailand


Monday, January 03, 2005

Indian Natural Hazard Map tracked Tsunami seven years ago

Kolkata, Jan. 4. (PTI): The possible epicentre of the killer Tsunami and the probable path that the waves would take had been precisely tracked on the Indian Natural Hazard Map seven years ago.

Director of the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO), Dr G N Saha, said on Monday the map, made by NATMO in the late nineties, had shown the possible epicentre in Indonesia and Tsunami waves travelling to hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as the southern Indian coast.

"Though this was no prediction of any sort, it just showed theoretically what would happen if an earthquake of high intensity in Indonesia triggered off a Tsunami," he said.

Read Full Article on The Hindu

Malaysia: Airspace, Airports Open for Aid Work

Malaysia opens airspace, airports for tsunami aid work in Aceh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has opened its airspace and two airports to US and UN relief operations for the tsunami-hit Indonesian province of Aceh, the foreign ministry

continued...

full story on Channel News Asia

News alerts on potential aftershocks

Several Asian news agencies have recently published articles on potential aftershocks/quakes in the Assam region. The latest news on this development can be found on Google News

Any aftershocks or quakes can be monitored from either the IRIS Seismic Monitor site - near real-time information on seismic activity around the world : http://www.iris.edu/seismon or the US Geological Survey Site, earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww

Sri Lanka: New Risks Begin to Surface

From www.unicef.org

New Risks Begin to Surface

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 29 December 2004 - The devastating tsunamis that struck south Asia on December 26 have left over 21,700 dead and thousands of children, women and men missing in Sri Lanka, one of nine countries that were affected by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and its aftereffects.

More than 700,000 people have been displaced from their homes. These survivors face an array of dangers -- disease, lack of clean water and sanitation facilities.

“We are very concerned in all these areas about the welfare of people who have survived, whether they are getting clean water. We are worried about the risk of disease, children in these circumstances are especially vulnerable to disease,” said Regional Communication Officer Martin Dawes.

Landmines are also another deadly risk. UNICEF’s Ted Chaiban in Sri Lanka said the mines are posing a risk to Sri Lankans and an impediment to relief efforts. “Mines were floated by the floods and washed out of known mine fields, so now we don’t know where they are and the warning signs on mined areas have been swept away or destroyed,” he said, speaking from the UNICEF office in Colombo.

“The greatest danger to civilians will come when they begin to return to their homes, not knowing where the mines are,” Chaiban added.
UNICEF has already responded to a government request for shelter supplies, providing more than 30,000 blankets and sleeping mats as well as t-shirts and other articles of clothing from local emergency stocks. A relief flight from Copenhagen will arrive in Colombo on Wednesday carrying 45 tonnes of supplies.

Across Sri Lanka, UNICEF offices have been mobilized and UNICEF teams are in the field evacuating people and providing emergency supplies such as blankets, bedsheets, drinking water, and medicine.

The relief flight is carrying oral rehydration salts for sick children, medical supplies sufficient to serve 150,000 people for three months, shelter equipment such as tents and blankets, and other urgent relief items.

UNICEF Sri Lanka expects to issue an appeal for some $6 million to help meet urgent needs for Sri Lanka’s children. Half of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts were directly affected by the tsunamis.

Officials from the Sri Lankan government told UNICEF they had “never seen a situation like this before.” Currently, the country is under a national state of emergency.

From www.unicef.org

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Latest News: Jakarta Aid Summit

Latest News: Sri Lanka

Latest News: Indonesia

Latest News: Thailand

Latest News: India

Latest News: General

Indonesia newsfeed on the tsunami

This is the link to newsfeed for Indonesia on EIN News

http://www.einnews.com/indonesia/newsfeed.php?nid=19590&afid=384

Indonesia : Aid efforts in Aceh/Sumatra

An urgent appeal for help from the Aceh/Sumatra region has been made. Details on ongoing relief efforts and news updates from Ground Zero are being recorded at www.mentawai.com/aceh.html

You can help in several ways:

If you want to help with cash via an registered charity, go to www.surfaidinternational.org and donate on line. Surf Aid have an office in Padang and we are working closely with them. Funds sent to SAI will be focused on the west coast area so the help will be targeted in the islands and south west Aceh area.

Padang FM are broadcasting to collect material such as bottled water, rice, matches, cooking ware, tarps, tents, medical supplies and more:

Chris and Chris at Hotel Batan Arau are ready to store material, food and equipment until these can be loaded on boats. Padang residents can drop aid packages at: Hotel Batang Arau, Jl Batang Arau No 33. Phone 27400

If you are in Indonesia, send pachages by mail or courier to:
PT Mentawai Wisata Bahari
Jl Kesatria No. 6
Ganting, Padang
West Sumatra

click on "[+/-] Expand/Collapse this post" to continue--->

The latest news as recorded from the site is :

Padang has over 2,000 hospital beds available. Sibolga has about 200 beds available. No sick or injured have been able to reach those beds yet and we can not confirm any concrete plan to make this happen. One solution that could help thousands is to mobilize a large car ferry to act as a mother ship/floating clinic and a 150 passenger fast ferry to move sick and injured to either Sibolga or Padang. There are ferries in the area that can do this job until bigger faster boats could be sent here. We appeal to all those who have authority to focus on achieving this simple step. It could save a great number of lives and alleviate awful suffering.

As of 11:20 am, 2nd January, the Electric Lamb (sea vessel) has been reported to be approaching Pini Island, Telos Group.

First-hand account from Maprao Resort, Phi Phi

Dear Friends, dear Customers of Maprao Resort,

Thanks for your messages and concern for our resort and our people.

Phi Phi Islands have been severely damaged (especially the village and its surroundings). Our resort was among the lucky ones...

All our customers residing in the resort at the time of the disaster escaped unharmed. Maprao's staff too. The dive instructors Nikos and Lach, Miao (barkeeper) are safe and sound. Everybody staying there showed a lot of courage and efficiency.

Our son Boris was spending some holidays in Japan and hurried back to Thailand to give us a hand. As to both of us, we were also very lucky to escape (when the tsunami hit the island, we were on the ferry boat from Phi Phi to Phuket, stucked in the middle of the sea..).

The bungalows, built a little higher on the hill, are still o.k. But the reception, the lobby, the restaurant, the kitchen, the dive shop, the beach bar, the front terraces, the Holy Tree suite etc... have been destroyed in a few seconds.
.

Others in the village or elsewhere have had less luck. Many of our Thai and foreign friends have been washed away forever...

All the survivors have now been evacuated and we are not allowed for the moment to return to the island, because of the search works and the high risks of diseases. But as soon as possible, we will brace ourselves with all our strength and courage and rebuild our future.

Thanks for all the good vibrations you are sending to us.

Guy et Marie-Pia de Fauconval
Direction de Maprao Resort.

------------------------------
YOU SAW IT, YOU KNOW ABOUT IT, SO REACT ! AND ACT NOW !!
WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP A.S.A.P. !!!

As you know, Phi Phi Islands, Phuket and many other places in Thailand have been severely damaged by the terrible tsunami and, besides the horrific human losses, the numerous injuries and the profound distress, everything has to be rebuilt.

Donations would be welcomed for the first aid and urgent rescue, as well as for the families having lost relatives and friends, their home, their business or their belongings.

For that reason, Maprao Resort has decided to open a special ‘emergency account’.

Please send money donations by swift to the following bank account :

By swift MT 100

Siam Commercial Bank PCL Bangkok (head Office)

Swift code : SICOTHBK

for credit account nr. 537 – 2 – 89694 – 1

BORIS DE FAUCONVAL FOR P.P. TSUNAMI

Phuket Branch

Siam Commercial Bank PCL

66 Rasada road – Muang Phuket 83000

Thailand

Tel ++ 66.76.21.22.54-5

Fax ++ 66.76.21.45.98 and ++66.76.21.43.41

You can be assured that your donations will be distributed to the persons in need and only to them.

In order to allow us to keep track of your transaction, please be so kind to send us an e-mail with mention of your name, the amount of your donation and the day of your transaction.

Your kindness and your solidarity in these difficult times are really appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your prompt generosity.

Please forward this message to all your family, friends and relatives!!!!!!!

Maprao Resort
The most authentic resort in
Koh Phi Phi
Le plus authentique des 'resorts' de Koh Phi Phi
www.maprao.com


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Daily Good News

Andaman and Nicobar Islands -- In her frantic flight from the killer waves swallowing up her island, Namita Roy found refuge in a forest.

There she gave birth to a boy who would be named Tsunami.

On another island, 8-month-old Michael Jeremiah slipped out of his mother's arms and sank into the sea until his father saw his toe poke up from the waves and brought him back to life.

The tale of the two babies will become part of the folklore of miraculous survivals of Sunday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunamis.

Death Toll Update

CNN has confirmed that the undersea earthquake off Sumatra and the giant waves it triggered killed more than 140,000 people, and that number is expected to rise.

Deaths by country:

Indonesia: 79,906, with another 3,598 missing.

Sri Lanka: More than 45,000. Sri Lankan officials say 27,229 have died in non-rebel-held areas; 5,240 are missing; 12,482 injured; and 899,408 are homeless.

India: At least 10,000

Thailand: 4,812. Thai prime minister says toll could exceed 8,000. 6,541 are still missing, more than 3,000 of them Swedish tourists.

Malaysia: 66

Maldives: 74

Myanmar: 90

Tanzania: 10

Bangladesh: 2

Somalia: Kenyan media reports hundreds dead.

Kenya: Kenyan media reports one death.

Seychelles: Unconfirmed reports of deaths.

Logistics Becomes Focus of Aid

From Yahoo

Having pledged $350 million to help tsunami victims in South Asia, the Bush administration is focusing on the logistics of getting clean water, food and other supplies to people rebuilding their lives and burying the scores of thousands who perished.

To help coordinate the relief effort, the United States has set up a support center in Thailand. More than 20 patrol and cargo aircraft have been dispatched to carry disaster supplies, Bush said. The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the Maritime Pre-Positioning Squadron from Guam and an amphibious ship carrying a Marine Expeditionary Unit soon will be in position to generate clean water and support other relief efforts.

An American military cargo jet on Friday brought blankets, medicine and the first of 80,000 body bags to Banda Aceh, the devastated Indonesian city near the quake epicenter. Nine U.S military C-130 transports took off Friday from Utapao in Thailand to ferry supplies to southern parts of Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, Maj. Larry J. Redmon said in Bangkok.



Friday, December 31, 2004

Indonesia Government Continues Combat with Aceh Rebels

Source: AFP via The Australian

"We continue to launch raids into suspected GAM (Free Aceh Movement) areas and our vigilance remains high."-Indonesian Lieutenant Colonel Nachrowi

Death Toll Posts 12/28-31

Death Toll Posts 12/28-31

Satellite Imagery Posts 12/28-31

Satellite Imagery Posts 12/28-31