Monday, December 27, 2004

The Indonesian Tsunami Disaster.

Most of us know about the tsunami disaster by now. In case you don't (and even if you do but don't know enough details) you can look it up here.

I had only read about tsunamis but never really heard about it in news. I guess they are much more common than this but most of the time the warning systems ensure that the damage isn't much. In places that are prone to earthquakes and tsunamis, these warning systems are present since long but who'd have thought they would hit india and sri lanka! not that we haven't experienced earthquakes before (actually we've probably seen more than our fair share. I know some people here who have NEVER experienced even moderate quakes.) but I don't think there had been any tsunami disasters in india before this. Not in the historic period at least.

Its absolutely awe-inspiring how much energy a tsunami can carry. I guess the fact that an earthquake makes a gigantic amount of land move should be just as awe-inspiring, if not more, but somehow the idea of an ocean-wave moving at 300-400 miles per hour for thousands of miles and hitting thousnads of mile long shorelines is simply inconceivable for me. think of a water tank in a cube of each side 10m long and think of the force needed to push it at the speed of 300 miles per hour. now put 200,000 such tanks in a line and you reach close to a tsunamis awesome power. considering that these numbers aren't anywhere close to megatsunamis one begins to realize the sheer power of forces of nature. (I know its probably not appropriate to think about these things as anything but evil, but reading about these things I couldn't help thinking how much energy can be obtained from such sources for our purposes if only the technology for prediction and harnessing improves. I know it sounds almost impossible as of now, but what if it can be done sometime in future! THAT feat would be just as awe-inspiring as the quakes and tsunamis themselves).

For those who are able and willing to contribute to the Indian Prime Minister's relief fund can contribute through cash/cheque, credit card, or direct bank transfer.

No comments: