The Restless Gemini

Έν οίδα ότι ουδέν οίδα --- Hen oida hoti ouden oida

December 25, 2005

Unstoppable Wave

26th of December 2004, as I lay slouching on my bed lazily sipping tea and watching TV, I was interrupted by ticker messages running across the screen that a giant wave has hit the Eastern Coast of India. Minutes later I found myself calling my family at Chennai and was relieved to know that they were safe, as our home was within 2km from the Bay of Bengal. But the same was not true for some, who lived not so far from my home. As I later learnt it was much more than a giant wave and had affected many countries in SE Asia. The worst affected being Indonesia. People who prided having a home near the Sea, for the first time feared it, as was evident from the drop in property rates on the eastern side(sea side)witnessed in Chennai.

Damage in Marina Beach, Chennai

Tsunami had suddenly become a household name, with makeshift settlements and babies born during this calamity named after Tsunami. I myself have heard so many stories about how people fell prey to the killer waves. Early morning joggers to the Marina beach, people who had ventured into the sea, people who had gone to the seafront to offer last rites to the departed - all were washed away by this Tsunami. A particularly sorry tale was that of an old washerwoman, who after having run a considerable distance from the sea when the Tsunami struck, went back to pick up the
clothes she was ironing, only to be swept away. It has been exactly an year today, people are slowly getting over the trauma, but the damages have been permanent. Its always difficult to digest the fact that your loved ones are not there anymore...isn't it?

Yesterday evening I watched a programme called "Unstoppable Wave" in Discovery Channel. Scientists and Tsunamic experts, have made a remarkable scientific discovery, 260 kilometres off the coast of Banda Aceh,Indonesia, with the aid of seismic survey equipment and remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) – the team collects the data required to not only understand last year's tsunami, but to develop a computer model that could be used to predict the size of future tsunamis elsewhere in the world, and ultimately, help save thousands of lives.

Almost five kilometres below the ocean surface, one ROV reveals evidence that the sea floor was pushed upwards during the Sumatra earthquake. Scientists now confirm that this uplift caused the deadly tsunami – 1,200 kilometres of the fault line ruptured in just 500 seconds, causing a drastic uplift, raising the ocean waters above, and triggering the deadly wave. Scientists were also predicting a Tsunami to hit Washington and Oregon in the US and have already started taking precautionary measures and Tsunami early warning systems to ward off Nature's fury. All said and done, one can only hope that such natural calamities do not occur anywhere else.


Anonymous Jana said...

When disaster free india--- will come??

January 03, 2006 1:19 pm  

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