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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
One year on... by Ellerd on 21 December 2005 3:50am
This Boxing Day marks the first anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Here in Australia, SBS-TV's current-affairs program "Dateline" visited three tsunami-affected communities - one in Aceh (Indonesia), one in Sri Lanka, and one in Phang Nga (Thailand) - to see what progress has been made in a year. Seems there hasn't been an awful lot. I'll post a link to the show below, to anyone who wants to read the transcripts.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard news of what happened? I was listening to the cricket on the radio when, during a news break, they reported a large wave had struck the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Am I the only one that still feels overwhelmed by the immensity of this disaster?

Re: One year on... by tucsonmike on 21 December 2005 5:00am
I don't remember where I was, but it would be difficult for anyone who follows the news or has a conscience to forget.

Re: One year on... by LynneD on 21 December 2005 1:00pm
Yes, I remember where I was Ellerd. We had been entertaining my sister & brother-in-law last Boxing Day, and hadn't really watched TV. Just before they left (around 11pm I think) we turned on the TV and heard the dreadful, dreadful news. None of us could believe the devastation.

I also remember my sister saying "I was going to moan about having to return home on a cold, freezing night, but it would seem trivial now".

My thoughts and prayers still remain with the victims & their families. I hope each day is getting a little easier for them.
Re: One year on... by suzulu on 21 December 2005 6:12pm
I was still in bed on Boxing Day morning in Wales when my sister called me downstairs to tell me. I was very worried as my Sri Lankan colleague's husband was in Sri Lanka visiting his sick father. He was OK as he was in central Colombo but an old school friend of his lost his wife, children and mother-in-law on the Queen of the Sea train. They were travelling to the coast for the holiday but he didn't want to go by train so he travelled alone in his van. So very tragic.
Re: One year on... by persentio on 21 December 2005 8:05pm
I remember being at the airport, and only found out after returning home and going online to have people ask me if people I knew were all alright. It just felt so surreal, and I only have an indistinct memory of all of us online just talking to one another and wondering if people we knew were affected, because many of our families and friends stay and travel in this region.

It has already been one year, and even though help has arrived to many areas, families remain affected and are still staying in camps for the internally displaced. Once, six months after the tsunami, I met a man when I was in Sri Lanka working on a short construction project in a school, and he came over to talk to me, and what I could understand from what he was saying was that his father was lost to the tsunami, his mother was seriously hurt and they were staying with his brother since their home was destroyed. That was one of the most memorable encounters I had while I was there, and it was a reminder that even as physical reconstruction takes place, the internal scarification cannot be undone.

Anyway I should stop here, lest I reach the point where it just sounds trite. But indeed, their stories are the same, be it after the tsunami, or the more recent earthquake. I can only hope that more aid still arrives to them, particularly to those in Pakistan, so that they can weather the harsh winter that has taken over the region.
Re: One year on... by Podge97 on 21 December 2005 8:20pm
We had some friends staying for Christmas last year. They had come back from the Maldives 2 days earlier and for them it was even closer as they knew that people they had met under a week ago could now be dead. I can still remember the news vividly. It's been a bad year for natural disaters with Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan Earthquake. I think that we should all remember that just because it isn't on the news, that people are still affected in these places.

Recently a woman was pulled out alive a from the rubble in Pakistan. The link to the story is below.


There's still hope.
Re: One year on... by Tauriel on 21 December 2005 11:59pm
I wasn't aware of it until I went to Germany to celebrate Christmas with my parents (my Mom works there and me and my Dad went to spend the holidays with her), simply because I don't follow the news too much (yes, shame on me, mea culpa...). We spent a good deal of New Years Eve watching CNN and BBC World where they had constant news coverage of the disaster.

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