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732 comments

wow (2, Informative)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226634)

This really puts the disaster into perspective, im shocked.

Re:wow (-1, Troll)

cronostitan (573676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226640)

I am more shocked that Slashdot is covering this desaster so late! I know Slashdo is a tech portal but this is like not covering 9/11 when it happened.

Re:wow (2, Informative)

Compact Dick (518888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226652)

There were at least two other articles pertaining to the earthquake and tsunami.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226672)

And I am shocked that you are slacking off on a tech portal instead of helping the relief effort for the Tsunami victims.

Re:wow (1)

cronostitan (573676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226682)

Ok.. i have to correct myself... it was covered with two sentences in a small article - i must have overlooked it despite to its 'big' size.

Re:wow (1, Troll)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226725)

Fuck you. *Series of obscene gestures*

First of all, the spelling errors: it's disaster not desaster, Slashdot not Slashdot.

Second off, this is a technology site, not a human interest site. It's covered it before, no need to link. This has been on the front page since disaster relief was set up, and it doesn't even pertain to the site's main interest.

Third of all, fuck you. *Series of obscene gestures*

Fourth, here's a Peace Sign for all of the British people reading this comment, no offense meant to the french over that nasty hundred years war thing.

Oh yea, and fuck you you karma whoring anti-site non spelling non grammatically correct negative bastard. Go look at the pictures, it's utter destruction. I'd mod you down if I participated in moderation, but a string of obsenities makes me feel better you fucking bridge dweller.

Now, editors, mod this post down(I'll even use my bonus for once), abuse your infinite powers for good, because it deserves it.

And screw you asshole.

Re:wow (1)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226760)

Second off, this is a technology site, not a human interest site.

Well, actually, it's 'News for nerds, Stuff that matters'. I'd say this matters.

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226712)

Current death tolls approaching 130k people.

If you thought 9/11 was big think again, we are talking about FOUR HUNDRED 9/11s here.

Re:wow (-1, Troll)

ejito (700826) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226715)

The average American thinks his/her life is worth 400 Arabs or Asians, anyday.

Re:wow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226740)

I hope someone rightly mods you as a troll for your arrogance.

signed,
An American

Re:wow (1)

ndb82 (736898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226777)

And using a terrible disaster causing the death of 134K (CNN's current count) as an excuse to carry on about your gripes about Americans (whether warranted or not) makes you a much better person.

No, (0, Troll)

master_meio (834537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226789)

Just a slight better one.

Re:wow (3, Insightful)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226754)

I've said it before, I'll say it again.

It's a natural disaster. A large one, to be sure, but the Colombia volcano in 1985 killed around 25,000, Mont Pelee in 1902 killed 25,000, and let's not forget the Tangshan earthquake in 1976, which killed between 250,000 and 650,000 people. There's a qualitative difference between something that happened because Mother Nature got titchy, and something that humans planned and carried out.

Different. You can't compare them on the same scale.

Re:wow (1, Troll)

krist0 (313699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226758)

its 911 times a hundred...
dear god, thats 91100

Re:wow (2, Informative)

BottleCup (691335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226808)

I dont think it is appropriate to make jokes about this catastrophe. I just saw a video footage someone took in Aceh, Indonesia. If you think satelite photos are shocking, think again. If you want to watch this I recommend you go to lokitorrent. Its the KATC tsunami video in wmv format.

The video was taken from the upper level of a 2 storey house (from the balcony to be exact). The view outside shows turbulent water rushing and submerging many houses. Its horrible and looks as if the house is right in the middle of an ocean during a turbulent storm, only there's no rain.

Then there's a voice of a woman crying saying something to the effect of so and so was in the car... and she weeps uncontrollably. There's another woman's voice trying to console her. I couldnt make out everything what they were saying because of the difference in dialect (I'm from Malaysia), but it was enough to make me feel very sad and sorry for all those poor people there. :(

Re:wow (2)

b0r0din (304712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226793)

Not to nitpick about loss of life, but that's only forty 9/11s, not four hundred.

Although I agree, it's an awful loss.

The worst is that a lot of these deaths could have been prevented. But then, no one can predict mother nature.

A poem for Dale (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226637)

On a racetrack paved with purest gold, Dale Earnhardt has the pole,

And holding back the pack behind is now his single goal.

A familiar voice says "Gentlemen," and Dale looks up to see,

His father smiling broadly says, "Start your engines please."

The pack takes off, Dale holds the lead but he's challenged for first place,

He glances over with intimidation at Neil Bonnett's face.

Neil looks back and grins, then right up near the wall,

A car comes screaming in as if to pass them all.

Dale glances quick to see this hotshot going high,

Davey Allison shouts back, "My car was made to fly.

"All right! Three wide, we're racing now, and this is getting sticky."

"Make that four," a driver calls "make way for Alan Kulwicki."

"Four wide! No way! This can't be true. This just cannot be done."

"OK Adam, make your move," Lee Petty tells his great grandson.

"Two in a car? That can't be legal. Will the officials let that stand?"

"Move over boys I'm coming through," Kenny Irwin joins the band.

"Hello, boys. It's been awhile, and it's really great to see you.

"But we're six wide and that's unreal, so what are we going to do?"

"I'd say we're going to make some room," Neil Bonnett recommends,

"Cause Tim Richmond's number 25 is about to squeeze right in."

"There's seven of us neck-a-neck, no one can pull away.

"Something has to give, this is no way to play."

The checkered flag is waving now over the seven in a row.

Dale looks confused, the drivers chuckle. "He's a rookie. He doesn't know."

Neil pats him on the back and says, "We all won that last race,

So now throughout eternity, in the points, we're in first place.

So we'll wait here in Victory Lane, basking in our win,

Until it's time to usher the next NASCAR driver in."

Re:A poem for Dale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226645)

Rumour has it that he's living with Elvis and Tupac in an apartment in Queens.

Don't beleive everything "they" tell you.

First new year post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226648)

well okay I cheated by a few minutes...

Cisco (2, Interesting)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226650)

Even Cisco [cisco.com] has posted Earthquake and Tsunami Relief on their main page. I guess a good chunk of their CCIEs are affected by this :)

Re:Cisco (1)

t-10056 (627132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226671)

So does Microsoft [microsoft.com]

Re:Cisco (2, Informative)

aixou (756713) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226691)

Forgive a bit of humor in the midst of tragedy, but it seems that Apple [apple.com] has led the pack yet again, only to be copied by Microsoft.

Seriously though, I think donating a little bit of money is the least one of us can do. It really puts things in perspective when something like this happens.

Re:Cisco (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226762)

When the appeal was put out, a post was made on a mailing list I frequent which suggested that all those people who missed out on the Dell server offer a few weeks back might want to think about donating that cash to this cause. All in all, I think we collectivly donated more than £10,000 UKP. Come on people, these guys need it and we have it in excess (even the poorest over here can donate something and hardly feel it), currently the UK government has pledged $96million, while the UK public has donated $69million. Yes, the UK public has donated the same amount that the US government has pledged.

Re:Cisco (2)

opec (755488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226801)

What a shame. You people have turned even simple donations into a competition.

Tsunami (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226660)

This is simply amazing. I think that every so often Mother Nature decides she needs to show everyone who's boss, a sort of bitchslap to bring the nations of the world together; if only for a little while.

Re:Tsunami (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226741)

If anyone wants to know more about what "Mother Nature" did then I would recommend the wiki entry [wikipedia.org]

Re:Tsunami (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226753)

Funny thing is, there was a wild-life center near the coast, that got flooded. They found quite a few people dead, tourists, people who work there,.. Not a single dead animal though. They all sensed it coming, they all ran to safer regions. I guess we lost touch with our own instincts, and mother nature.

We are all so scared of terrorists. (or are supposed to be if you believe the media). We thought we had nature under control, with our superior technology and science. I guess we thought wrong, a little shake of mother nature has been worse than hundred bin ladens and sadam hoesseins.

Re:Tsunami (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226761)

Quite a "bitchslap" [ogrish.com]

Re:Tsunami (1)

liangzai (837960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226839)

Mother Nature hasn't got a will of Her own, and so decides nothing. She merely is, and She operates according to the initial conditions and the natural laws given to Her.

one point about the Sri Lankan pictures... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226661)

it's worth noting that the pictures show Kalutara, a town about 25 miles south of Colombo, and situated on the west coast of Sri Lanka, which pretty much escaped major damage and loss of life compared to the the south and eastern coastlines.

Flooding caused at least 40 deaths in Kalutara, though...

Re:one point about the Sri Lankan pictures... (5, Insightful)

OffTheLip (636691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226684)

The people of Galle, one of the hard hit areas on the west coast, might take exception to your comment about escaping major damage.

Re:one point about the Sri Lankan pictures... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226780)

Galle is in the south. Trust me, I'm from that region. It's 72 miles south of Colombo

Re:one point about the Sri Lankan pictures... (1)

OffTheLip (636691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226787)

I've been there too and technically Galle is on the west coast around the point from Matara. Regardless, the loss was significant.

hammer revolution (1)

clubhouse (840238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226662)

wow, tsunamis are totally antihammer --;

don't hear too many (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226670)

"allah is great!" now, do we ?

Re:don't hear too many (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226687)

Yes, because every single country east of Europe worships Allah. Get a clue, please.

Re:don't hear too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226700)

wow an american that knows geography !!
amazing !

Re:don't hear too many (5, Informative)

oz_canetoad (3697) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226694)

From the CIA world book on Sri Lanka;

Buddhist 70%, Hindu 15%, Christian 8%, Muslim 7% (1999)

I can see why you wouldn't, but continue to play your banjo...

Re:don't hear too many (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226708)

worst hit : indonesia.

check your facts, moron.

Re:don't hear too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226730)

tho, i don't remember hearing too much "America is great" or "God praise America" or "Praise God" when a couple of airplanes slammed into a couple of buildings...

I've no idea why i even bothered to reply to a racist AC...

then again, i'm an AC too...

Re:don't hear too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226814)

racist ? since when is religion a race ???

and 9/11 is man-made...

why do I bother replying to /. dweebs ?

I'm too good :)

Re:don't hear too many (1)

oz_canetoad (3697) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226732)

I do believe that the pictures are 50/50 of Aceh and Sri Lanka.

Aceh
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceh
Est. 4.2M population

Sri Lanka
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factboo k/geos/ ce.html#People
19.9M population

So the facts?

Re:don't hear too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226785)

Indonesia (aceh etc) : largest muslim country
on earth.

now go read a book.
you need it.

Re:don't hear too many (-1, Offtopic)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226705)

Mod parent down as troll.

Re:don't hear too many (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226717)

Allah-u-akbar!

Atleast we got all those goddarned Swedes, no wait, didn't bin Laden say something about Sweden... ...shit

Are you stingy? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226674)

Yep. [nytimes.com]

Re:Are you stingy? (1, Insightful)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226701)


Bush could have scored some real points if say he'd cancelled his $40 million "I got elected again" party and given the money to the cause.

Re:Are you stingy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226745)

This NYT article is crap. Even if the figures are correct, it is forgetting the fact that the USA exports freedom and democracy to poor countries. Those wonderful things cannot be measured in mere dollars.

One can plainly see for instance the happiness of the Iraqi and Afgan people after being liberated.

Re:Are you stingy? (2, Insightful)

MvD_Moscow (738107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226820)

USA does not export democracy and freedom. The US does start wars for their own needs (e.g. oil) but not for freedom. And don't start about the US wanting to fight terrorist, if the US really wanted to fight terrorists they should have invaded Saudi Arabia not Iraq. Afterall, in terms of freedom they were on similar levels.

Re:Are you stingy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226836)

The afghan students being shot by the new "democratic" government because of protesting against conditions in hostels?

Or maybe happines of Kosovian Serbs who live in ghettos afraid to go outside because they will get shot?

You sir are blind. Blinded by the propaganda.

Re:Are you stingy? (3, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226837)

Actually the US has inserted more corrupt dictatorships than they have inserted democratic governments. The dictators were prefered for many years because they were less likely to turn socialist than a democratic country was.

Re:Are you stingy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226838)

Perhaps you're forgetting the hurricanes causing massive dammage to the US this year? Perhaps you're forgetting the billions the US is already spending on other relief efforts around the world? Perhaps you're simply bent on criticizing the US, or at least the presidency, no matter what the decision would have been? Perhaps nothing is good enough until you get what you want?

Receding Waters? (1)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226677)

I'm a bit confused by the Kalutara series, it appears to show a LOT more beach, but no damage to the buildings. Could this be in that few minutes when the water level dropped before the tsunami hit?

Or is Kalutara not in the direct path and this is after-effect on non-direct impact sites?

Re:Receding Waters? (1)

kswtch (790406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226763)

> Could this be in that few minutes when the water level dropped before the tsunami hit?

No, it has to be after the wave hit the coast. Compare it to the image from January 1. You can count 3 roads following parallel to the main road. On the image with the receding water you are only two roads left and all the buildings between the coast and that road are gone.
You can also see water coming from the streets and flowing back to sea.

Re:Receding Waters? (1)

monotoy (577581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226765)

it is west coast of sri lanka, and therefore not in the immediate path ... south and east/northeast are MUCH worse affected.

Ultimate Art Exhibition (0, Troll)

liangzai (837960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226679)

Don't get me wrong, but this is beautiful stuff. It could almost challenge 9/11 for the title of Ultimate Art Exhibition.

Don't get me wrong, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226711)

This is far worse than 9/11,
9/11 is a pin prik compared to this,
quite a different scale my friend, 9/11 what?

Re:Don't get me wrong, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226731)

i think his point was froim an artistic point of view rather than measuring the lost of life.

as far as symbolism goes 11/9 is much more effective, and also this only looks pretty from the sky. + all good art has to make a point.. i say the twin towers wins hands down.

Re:Don't get me wrong, but.. (0, Redundant)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226735)

Humans caused 9/11.

The damage here is worse, sure, but in the end, this is the sort of thing that we had nothing to do with, something that (given current technology) we can do nothing to prevent, only to try to mitigate.

Was this *event* worse than 9/11? (That's a different question from asking if the damage was worse). Well, that's like asking if its worse when a landslide kills 25 hikers or when a crazy person kills 2 people at a gas station. The events have to be considered in different lights. You can't compare apples to oranges, Macs to PCs, WinME to FreeBSD... and you can't compare massive devastation from natural disasters to massive devastation from acts of terrorism.

Philosophy 101 (0)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226766)

Humans caused 9/11.

Only if you believe in free will.

that's like asking if its worse when a landslide kills 25 hikers or when a crazy person kills 2 people at a gas station. The events have to be considered in different lights

Not if you believe in god(s): then both are a question of why they were allowed to happen.

and you can't compare massive devastation from natural disasters to massive devastation from acts of terrorism.

Depends on what you believe in.

TWW

Re:Philosophy 101 (1)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226798)

Well, speaking for the significant number of people who believe in some form of free will, either with a god in the picture or without one: your response is totally vapid Philosophy 101 bullshit. I'm not looking for a philosophical argument regarding free will; I'm pointing out that the cause does matter when considering the importance of an event.

I believe you're full of shit and looking for an argument. Now, argue my point on the merits of the point, not on free will, or fuck off and troll elsewhere.

Re:Philosophy 101 (2, Interesting)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226825)

I'm pointing out that the cause does matter when considering the importance of an event.

I agree; I was idly pointing out the implications of two common beliefs: 1: that there is no such thing as free will, which implies that human actions are no different from "natural" actions or disasters, and 2: that there is a god, in which case there again is no difference becase in both the human and natural cases god is equally culpable for letting it happen.

Personally I believe in free will and not in gods, so it really was idle speculation and "Philosophy 101". Given what I belive, I agree totally with your post but it did occur to me that ours is simply one view point and there are others. I'm not quite sure why that wound you up so much but I wasn't trolling.

TWW

Re:Don't get me wrong, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226772)

You can't compare anything to anything which isn't itself, because they're not the same. Or, wait, can you?

Re:Don't get me wrong, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226809)

And the philosophy trolls come out. Go back to reading Descartes and Kant, please, and remember that you can't compare things that aren't the same when someone puts a bullet into your face for being obnoxious. After all, that's obviously not *worse* than dying happily in your bed of old age, because they aren't the same, and are therefore incomparable, right?

Re:Don't get me wrong, but.. (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226824)

we can do nothing to prevent, only to try to mitigate.

or send a warning early enough. With 15-minute warning (easy for science/engineering, harder for bureaucracy/business) the casualities could have been halved

Re:Don't get me wrong, but.. (1)

liangzai (837960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226826)

My friend, you are off-topic, since I was merely comparing these two events from an arts perspective. Which event was "worse" or "greater" or "zui niubi" doesn't matter when we are dealing with color, composition and originality.

aaaaarg it's ...Damien Hirst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226832)

Are you Damien Hirst ?

Sounds like you, you sad little coke-addled twat.

A couple more images (5, Informative)

centipetalforce (793178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226688)

http://eobglossary.gsfc.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImage s/images.php3?img_id=16774 [nasa.gov] Very
http://eobglossary.gsfc.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImage s/images.php3 [nasa.gov] Devastating
If you donated to lokitorrent but not this, I don't know what to say to you...

Re:A couple more images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226727)

"You are such a nerd", maybe?

Re:A couple more images (1)

ndb82 (736898) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226788)

I don't think that quite suffices to capture what he is getting at...

So much for clean water.... (3, Interesting)

YITBOS (842292) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226690)

It's almost disgusting to see how much the color of the water changed... it's bad enough they have hundred upon hundreds of bodies lying around rotting, but the water looks disgusting even from the sky... just imagine the smell. I wonder how long it will take, with all the flooding and then the following withdrawl of the water, before it's a nice, clean blue ocean beach again?

Re:So much for clean water.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226795)

ocean water? not long
the flooded areas? quite a while.

Har! I saw this in del.icio.us last week! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226702)

Is that what people do for a living nowadays? Take links that have been circulating for a week on del.icio.us, and whore them to Slashdot in return for crookie mookie smookie points? Bwahahahahahahahaha. Soon, del.icio.us will become a FUTURE mirror of Slashdot -- one will be able to glimpse what Slashdot will contain the next week, merely by looking at this week's del.icio.us listings.

Videos (4, Informative)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226703)

Here [contemporaryinsanity.org] you can find videos of the tsunami captured by tourists.
Here [blogspot.com] you can find torrents of said videos in case the original site dies under the load.

Re:Videos (1)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226743)

some of the mirrors are not working too, looks like all are /. ed.

Re:Videos (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226747)

The site hosting the torrents have run out of bandwith

Re:Videos (1)

theskeptic (699213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226848)

Here are 2 mirrors for the photos(incase they are slashdotted.)

tsunami photos [logenv.org]

mirrordot [mirrordot.org]

I have the videos from the contemporaryinsanity site and 2-3 more from different sites. Let me know if you want them put up(or their torrents.)

First post of 2005 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226706)

Living down in NZ has some advantages :)

Re:First post of 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226716)

Aha I bet you (see further up) .. well kinda .. I jumped the gun by three minutes..

Re:First post of 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226807)

Living down in NZ has some advantages :)
Not for tsunamis... if volcanic activity occured around Wellington or north of the North Island, which there is a real chance of happening in our life-times, then the death toll from the resulting tsunami could be almost as high as this one. Imagine a tsunami ripping over the North Island to places like Tauranga and north Auckland, it'd kill 100,000 easily.

Re:First post of 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226819)

Yeah but who would really miss them.

I was thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226719)

Y'know, it seems that after a disaster like this one, or 9/11, etc. there is always a period of total chaos where everyone is trying to match up family and other loved ones and find out where everyone is. Usually there are numerous avenues for doing so-- 800 numbers, various government agencies, ad hoc web-sites, the red cross, etc. that individually try to keep track of this massive information that comes sporatically and from different sources.

I was thinking that an open-sourced database project might be a good way to centralize such information. Something where say, a family member who hears from a survivor can update the DB ("Uncle Mike is okay. He called to say he's on his way home..", etc.) so that other friends/family know not to worry and/or spend resources looking for that person and do not take up resources from authorities who could better be used. This could also be a place that someone can report in directly themselves to say they are okay. It could also be a centralized place for various agencies to keep track of potential victims and compare data w/names and images.

Because it seems right now, everyone scrambles, puts photos up on random buildings, etc. It could be more efficient if there were one "go to" system that everyone (at least the groups dealing with the disaster) used.

Obviously, in a disaster people in the disaster area don't have instant access to the Internet, and the last thing on their mind may be "reporting in". But for those concerned family members and for the various organizations I mentioned above, it seems like this could be useful.

Does anyone know of such a project already existing, whether open-sourced or otherwise? Is there one such system used by various disaster relief (FEMA, RED CROSS, etc) organizations?

I was just thinking about this the last few days. Maybe someone will reply why this is stupid/infeasable. Or maybe someone might have an idea for refining the idea...?

Re:I was thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226775)

This idea is stupid because that is what governments are for. "I lost my leg and my house! I need to get online and let everyone know that Fido is alright." Sure this is an extreme example, but during a time of crisis, the people who are affected will not be running to the first computer when phones are much more accessible. Also, this creates a single point of failure and a big bottleneck when families are F5ing every 10 seconds.

Re:I was thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226841)

This idea is stupid because that is what governments are for. "I lost my leg and my house! I need to get online and let everyone know that Fido is alright." Sure this is an extreme example, but during a time of crisis, the people who are affected will not be running to the first computer when phones are much more accessible. Also, this creates a single point of failure and a big bottleneck when families are F5ing every 10 seconds.

Original poster here. The idea isn't necessarioly that the person who survived the disaster phones in or logs in themselves, but that it is a centralized repository where the disaster agencies as well as family members or friends can update information. So the database could be updated from different endpoints-- family outside of the disaster area, organizations inside the disaster area, or the survivor themselves.

To take your example of someone running to a phone rather than logging in. Let's say two parents (divorced) live in FL and CA, and their kid is living in NYC on 9/11. The parents each panic and call the Red Cross, the FBI, and two of their kid's friends. Each cross-calls the cops, area hospitals, etc. You've got 15 people now who are all looking for this one kid, or have them on their "missing" lists.

The kid wasn't at home during the disaster, but calls the mom in FL. The mom can either update the DB herself (if she was checking it regularly for news) or call the Red Cross who would update it and remove the kid from the list. The info would be immediately accessible to the dad, the friends, the FBI, and anyone else that may have been involved.

Alternately, the kid could have left word with any of the agencies, the dad, the friends-- anyone who could have updated the DB and immediately notified everyone else. The information could be updated via different avenues-- phone call, IM, email, pictures, fingerprints, etc. could be attached to each person's "record".

As far as bottlenecking goes-- the db backend would have to be on seperate machines from the web servers obviously, and there would have to be priority access for Red Cross, FBI, etc.

If the agencies all work through a centralized system rather than having seperate lists, i think some benefits would include:

(1) faster peace-of-mind for families
(2) more accurate information, faster for the public
(3) minimize wasted resources searching for people who are already reported safe.
(4) minimize energy spent on recording unique lists by different groups.
(5) help focus resource allocation.

Re:I was thinking... (1)

dkellis (795881) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226779)

Well, as far as I can tell, the main problem is one that you've already pointed out: people in a disaster area may not think of reporting in first. Also, major disasters like these tend to knock out communications for several days, if not much longer.

Not to mention that not everyone is net-savvy...

I also don't really see how it would significantly improve matters, or at least enough to justify the cost of bandwidth, keeping it all up to date and accurate, or whatever. Normally by the time information can be posted on such, the situation would be a bit moot.

Fire, Water Wind (1)

max909 (619312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226720)

I had heard from my parents and my parents had heard this from their grand parents.

"Fire, Water and Wind, Humans can not overcome it"

My Allah Almighty have mercy on us. Ameen.

A thing I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226724)

When 9/11 happened Slashdot had about hundred stories about it. Now that something 20 times worse has happened, there's only one or two stories about it.

But this is common attidute at US. The amount of aid they promised reflects their view on the problem that concerns rest of the world.

Only thing I ask is, that why should we care when they don't care either?

Re:A thing I don't understand (0, Troll)

ccdotnet (786114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226767)

Early this morning (Aust time) the media were reporting the level of aid committed by the Aust government* to be AUD$35M and the US government* USD$45M (~AUD$57M) Last time I checked the US population was 15x the Aust population. * figures will no doubt increase through the day

Re:A thing I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226790)

Americans do appear a little behind on government donations considering the money they have.

Re:A thing I don't understand (1)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226844)

Of course, they can't possibly be making huge amounts of private donations, can they?

We have no control over our government these days. If you haven't figured that out in the past 20 years, welcome to the next 200.

Here some videos... (1, Troll)

cronostitan (573676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226726)

Here some Emule/Edonkey Links to private videos of this destater... You want to beat these people either for:

- just standing there and taping when the wave is approaching instead of running for their life.
- just standing there on a safe spot and taping not helping people crying for help in the water
gigant.tsunami.tidal.waves.in asia.recorded.on.koh.lanta.thailand.by.a.danish.gu y.WMV [ed2k] tsunami_sri_lanka_db_2004.12.26.wmv [ed2k] tsunami-indonesia12-2004.qt [ed2k]

Re:Here some videos... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226757)

Are you always so arrogant [slashdot.org] and self-righteous [slashdot.org] ?
Can't you just contribute to a discussion without being an ass?

Re:Here some videos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226771)

Are you always posting as AC?

more slashdot dweebness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11226805)

what an ass-hat !

the guy taping would probably go under as well
if he tried to help anyway...

Helping (5, Informative)

gregbaker (22648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226734)

Perhaps this would be a good time to donate to the Red Cross [redcross.org] ? (US [redcross.org] , Canadian [redcross.ca] , others [google.ca] )

The Canadian one, at least, is a fast online credit-card donation. You can print out your tax receipt right away. (hey, before midnight gets it in for this tax year, right?)

Or, there are plenty of other organizations [usaid.gov] that would be happy to receive a donation.

Re:Helping (2, Informative)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226764)

Google and Amazon have put up a list of sites too. You may donate to those NGO's too.

Engineering speculation... (1, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226803)

Its quite easy to see that a lot of dirt has washed completely away, leaving the islands eroded and noticeably smaller. Will dredging be required to restore islands to near their original height? Or are they fine now? Will land values increase as the amount of land has decreased? Or have so many people died that there is a stigma attatched to these islands (and more land to go around for the survivors) and land prices go down?

Quickly! We need to de-emotionalize this disaster fast before we go declare war on somebody.

Again, right off Drudge (-1, Offtopic)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11226817)

When will Slashdot return to its "News for Nerds" motto, instead of just being a news aggregator, with (insightful?) blogging?
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