Jan 3, 2005 10:24 pm


The statesman in the region failed time and again to take the necessary measures to limit the damage. First, they refused a tsunami alert system. Second, they not only did not sound an alarm after the earthquake from fear of losing tourism money but failed to post experts at the appropriate locations to monitor the developments. Nor were timely warning issued to the people about to be affected. See, A Disaster Unfolds

In the age of easy global communications, people hit hours after the tsunami began its destructive path should not have been as clueless as those hit when it first appeared. Phuket was hit at least an hour after Aceh. Somalia and Kenya were hit 6-7 hours after Sumatra was. There should be a full investigation of the Scientific and communication failure.

US geophysicist Barry Hirshorn in Honolulu told a local newspaper, “We started thinking about who we could call. We talked to the State Department Operations Centre and to the military. We called embassies. We talked to the navy in Sri Lanka, any local government official we could get hold of. The response in countries that lay in the tsunami’s path was ‘disorganized and lethargic’. The few who were aware of the dangers were hampered by lack of preparation, bureaucracy and inadequate infrastructure. Others either did not know how to interpret the warning signs, or were indifferent to them. None of the countries surrounding the Bay of Bengal issued an official warning, leaving millions of people completely at the mercy of the approaching waves.”

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