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Warning Wave

Yahoo! News - Tsunami Kills Few Animals in Sri Lanka:

"This is very interesting. I am finding bodies of humans, but I have yet to see a dead animal," said Wijeyeratne, whose hotel in the park was destroyed. "Maybe what we think is true, that animals have a sixth sense."

With all of the sophisticated technology we've got, it's amazing to me that so many people died because they were not warned. I haven't read the particulars - how far off the coast the earthquake was, how fast the wave moved, etc. - but given that the difference between life and death was oftentimes a few hundred yards, surely the death toll could have been lowered with a warning.

I saw a poll on CNN a few days ago saying "could officials have warned people sooner? yes/no." A stupid question I'd expect from USA Today and not CNN. After all, nobody answering the poll has insider information to know. Really, the question asks "would it have been better if officials could have warned people sooner?" Do people answering "yes" to that question really believe that officials "could" have warned people sooner, but chose not to?

I wonder why they couldn't.

5 Responses to "Warning Wave"

  1. They allegedly could've warned people 10 hours before the wave. That's when they registered the earthquake at 9.1 on the richter scale. The local institute who has the responsibility of logging such events argued that there are a lot of "tsunamies" that does not affect the coastal line, and seeing as it where the peak season for turism, they could not risk sounding the alarm... Another thing is, according to U.S. officials, that none of the countries had "wave sensors" to be used along with earthquake-sensoring equipment. This would obviously have helped predict the direction of the waves after the quake was registered.

    It's a deep tragedy, and I agree it is shocking that a country with such a large percent of the income through turism and being so vulnerable to possible tsunamies from quakes does not have proper equipment.

  2. Any quake over 6.0 should have led to a warning.

    the dollar should never take priority over lives. (though it will quite often.)


  3. As a sidenote. Take a look at, then take a look at - I feel like saying it really shows the company behind the site, but then I've been an Apple fan from the day I was born (my dad took care of that..) 🙂

    I've even secured screenshots of the sites just for fun 😛

  4. Well, maybe the reason they couldn't warn everyone is that much of Indonesia and Sri Lanka doesn't have technology at all.

    The US has all kinds of crazy tech, as do a lot of other countries, but there is a large portion of the world that doesn't have access to any of that.

  5. This yahoo news story is pretty interesting.

    Minutes after a massive earthquake rocked the Indian Ocean on Sunday, international ocean monitors knew that a tsunami would likely follow. But they didn't know whom to tell. "We put out a bulletin within 20 minutes, technically as fast as we could do it," says Jeff LaDouce of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. LaDouce says e-mails were dispatched to Indonesian officials, but he doesn't know what happened to the information.

    Maybe a more urgent means of communication was in order? 😛