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The earthquake

December 27, 2004

Dear Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India

Merry Christmas!



Early this morning, I woke up because I felt something. It was as if my bed was shaking mildly. To make sure I wasn't dreaming this, I got up and walked around the room. I checked the time on my watch - 6:41 AM. Since I was now sure I was fully awake, I sat on the bed. There it was again. There was a definite tremor in my bed. It went on for another two minutes. Later that morning, I checked Google News for "earthquake bangalore" and it came up with nothing. When I checked the regular news sources, however, I found out about the Indonesia earthquake and the resulting damage.

All through the day, the death tolls kept rising. I expected casualties in Indonesia, but the deaths in India and Sri Lanka were a more unpleasant shock.

At times like these, I'm glad I'm an atheist. I'd find it very difficult to accept that a "God" would cause something like this.

I feel the need to rant about a few things:

a) The Indian government doing fuck all to give any warning to anyone that there was danger. Even at 700 km/hour waves, it was still hours before the tsunami hit Indian shores. That would've been enough to get a lot of people out of danger. The government arseholes now give the feeble excuse that they didn't know what would happen. What bullshit! An 8.9 earthquake hits in the vicinity and you don't think anything will happen? If not an evacuation, couldn't they at least sound a general alarm to the eastern coast towns and cities? It would've moved several hundred fishermen out of the waters. It would've got people off the beaches. It would've saved a few lives that have now been snuffed out. Three hours and our government didn't do anything.
Update: The US officials tried to warn our people, but couldn't reach anyone. (Thanks Suresh!)

2) "News" services like CNN, who didn't start paying serious attention till the numbers hit the thousands. When BBC was reporting 7000 dead, CNN was still stuck on 3000. What's the matter, CNN? Too many reporters on XMas holiday?

3) Indian news sites like Rediff and TimesOfIndia.com - would it be too much for you to kill your fucking annoying pop-up advertisements for just one day so people could check on the loss of life without seeing some crappy credit card ad? Just once? And Times of India, we know you have no moral fibre at all, but seriously, did even one of your people with any sense of propriety look at the home page? Did even one of them see a photo of the devastation on your site immediately followed by "Hot December babes"? Could you not suspend the skin display for once so that it didn't disgust your visitors? You sicken me!

Screenshot of ToI page

(Also see Metafilter discussion about this.)

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