Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tsunami in West Sumatra!

Recent tsunami in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Luckily, it was too far offshore to affect Padang. There are causalities though. About 4 villages were swept away and the death toll has climbed to almost 300 people now, with many still missing. The villages are on a chain of islands offshore of Padang. Some are only reachable by a 12 hour boat ride. The weather has also hindered the search and rescue operations.

I subscribe to USGS earthquake notifications and saw the email for this particular earthquake. I clicked on the links to find out about possible tsunamis and found that a warning was issued and then canceled. This was on Monday, around noon. Some of us on the Padang project emailed and texted each other about this and we were all relief. But then I came home on Tuesday night after a full day of talking about Splash at Oakland High to find my inbox full of stuff about a tsunami.

I was shocked for about half an hour while I go through my inbox while searching for articles about the tsunami. It's still hard to find much information about it because of a volcano eruption in Central Java. Found lots of articles about Australian surfers though. I'm hoping to read more scientific information about the tsunami in the next few days, specifically, if this earthquake released any stress on the fault. Hopefully, this will mean more funding for tsunami preparedness in the region.

I talked to a couple of friends in Padang (via facebook) and neither of them felt the earthquake. But here's a quote from one of them,

"The people in padang is okay but a little bit panic. But in mentawai is so terrible, There was 13 meter high tsunami hit islands. there is 272 people died, 412 people missing and 40 people injured, 4000 people evacuated. Pray us! We stay alert."

I'm also really glad that some of my friends who are unrelated to the Padang project have emailed or otherwise contacted me about this tsunami. These are all people who I have talked to about this project. I'm so touched that they thought to contact me about this after reading about it on the news.

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