Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Tsunami Toll Nearly 70,000 and Rising
The known death toll from the tsunami keeps rising so rapidly that a daily weblog cannot hope to keep up with it. Early Wednesday am Reuters was giving 68,000. The largest number of dead were in Indonesia, then Sri Lanka, then India and then Thailand.
The horrific stories of corpses piled up on beaches or in trees, the neeed to bulldoze them into mass graves to dispel the spectre of disease, the wailing of relatives, the threat of cholera and other epidemics, finally filled the US media on Tuesday, as some sense of the full scale of the catastrophe finally began sinking in. The audio I heard of the wailing of relatives was the hardest to experience. The dead don't mourn being dead, that is left to the living.
Such catastrophes can have a political impact and can affect security affairs. The failure of the Turkish government to respond in a timely manner to the 1999 earthquake sounded the death knell for the government of then prime minister Bulent Ecevit, and set the stage for the later victory at the polls of the Muslim reform party, Ak.....