TSUNAMI NOTE

to be added to Tsunami-2004

"Als het kalf verdronken is, dempt men de put"
"Monday morning quarterbacking"

It is now just over a week ago that the 9.0 earthquake off Sumatra triggered the tsunami which killed over 135,000 people in Asia.


Some days after that, I referred in this story
to Jan Egeland (right) who I thought was Dutch.
Jan is, however, Norwegian and has a very impressive record which culminated in his June 6, 2003 appointment as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
In his name: the Dutch word "egel" sounds like eagle, which is, however "adelaar" in Dutch, while
an "egel" is actually a "hedgehog".
Regardless of language, the name denotes a certain measure or irritation and irritability. The expression: "getting under one's skin" comes to mind.

I am curious to see what develops
this week in Jakarta,where Kofi Annan
decided to go himself rather than
send Jan Egeland.
Certainly, Jan managed to get under the skin of George Bush and many Americans.
However, the huff and puff about his remarks on stinginess of developed nations may have generated enough publicity that the USA contribution got raised tenfold, from (a measly) $35 million to $ 350 million.
Let's leave it to FOX and Chris Wallace, CNN and Larry King, to figure out how much of the credit of this increase goes to publicity or true generosity.

Back to my Google search for images of "egels" and "hedgehogs": an unexpected link materialized showing the so-called "marechaussee-egel" used in Aceh (the written "Atjeh") during another disaster which the population of northern Sumatra suffered in the 1880's. In a series of three brief wars of suppression, the Dutch armed forces used the "Marechaussee" to wipe out close to a hundred thousand "rebels" in the notorious Atjeh "Province". The gruesome stories of this slaughter rank and compete with those of Vietnam and Iraq, and very likely with those of the DOM (1989-1998), the Indonesian Army's solution for problems with the movement for a Free Aceh
Let's not forget that in addition, nearby Krakatoa erupted in 1883 and caused a "tidal wave" (then the term used for tsunami) killing some 36,000 people.
That takes me to the following "red-hot" links for (intentions of) progress on tsunami warning systems: A - B - C - D
Model of this tsunami by ALKYON

BLO fecit 20050103 - stories