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December 27, 2004

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» Blogs of help from lsatharvard
Before 2005, [Read More]

» Wikinews is doing an entry on the tsunami. from Wagner's Weblog
Read. Via Rebecca MacKinnon, who asks whether "news agencies be setting up wiki pages for the information they're gathering on natural disasters—or any other breaking story for that matter?" Wikinews is an attempt to do for news-gathering what Wi... [Read More]

» Tsunami: Good words for bloggers from Screenshots...
Thanks the Star In-Tech team for their frontpage story highlighting Screenshots and Malaysia bloggers, aggregated via Project Petaling Street, who rose to the occasion to fill the "information void of the moment". Similar good words were generously sai... [Read More]

» Tsunami Help Blog from Areopagitica
From Rebecca MacKinnon over at RConversation (via Smart Mobs) comes this helpful tip:Want to know which areas were worst-hit by the Tsunami, which aid agencies are bringing aid to whom, and what is needed where? If you want to know [Read More]

» Wikinews and the Tsunami from j's scratchpad
Rebecca MacKinnon briefly analyzes Wikinews' reports on the tsunamis that devastated countries bordering the Indian Ocean and questions whether wiki contributors can beat traditional media sources or if there's a place for wikis within journalism to quick [Read More]

Comments

Ilya Haykinson

As a contributor to Wikinews, I feel that it will take either a lot of time, or a lot more people, or both to become a useful news source. The exact nature of the site is still a matter for discussion, and it's too early for stories to "make" Wikinews.

That said, I think that the wiki format is well-suited to global emergencies; as the Wikinews site grows, hopefully we will figure out a good approach to incorporating everyone's feedback and being more up-to-date than traditional sites.

For an example of where Wikinews will likely be in another several months, check out the Wikipedia article about the tsunamis.

Rusty

I took a look at the Wikinews Tsunami page. Having a central, collaboratively updated place to go to find information about a breaking news story is a good idea. However, I don't think the Wikinews site is there yet in terms of completeness & speed of coverage.

What I tend to do when a big story breaks is to periodically cycle through a bunch of different sites, both the big news sites (CNN, Yahoo, NYT, etc.) and various blogs. There's a lot of duplication of content (e.g. same AP news stories) but occasionally something new. I don't see Wikinews replacing this process just yet - for now it'd be one more site to visit.

oso

I'm a bit more optimistic about Wiki News. Right now I've got today's New York Times on my desk and Wiki News' Tsunami News Page on my monitor and there is no question as to which resource is more up to date, more thorough, and more useful.

Dushan

This site promotes support to medical and relief workers on the ground in Tsunami affected areas. We invite contributions in information, photos, design and presentation ideas to continually improve the level of quality of support provided by us.

Hawk Vision was needed over the Indian Ocean Tsunami
By Dr. Marcela Andre – Satchidananda Radha B.

The Hawaii earthquake center needed to do this simple search,
http://www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/ptwc/ (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center,
if not already (a glaring omission if so) not using the powerful satellites’ services that enable views capable of reading license plates on cars, can view ocean currents with infrared colors to differentiate movements and currents. Despite NOAA’s celebrating tsunami-awareness week in April 2004 in Hawaii, and the rare 50-foot swells appearing in Hawaii in November of 2004, the center did not rally to creative alerts of the Asian nations affected by “The Big One.” The tsunami of December 26, 2004. “We did what we could to warn Asian nations of the likelihood of a tsunami,” said Charles McCreery of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu, adding that the centre did not have direct contacts with Indian Ocean nations – reported the Sunday Telegraph of Australia on January 4, 2005.

Hawaii’s PTWC’s page has no updates since last Summer as of this writing. During the writing of this article, this website also expresses questions on the competence of the Tsunami Warning Center, outspoken weblog at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1310008/posts. Regardless of the other material on the website,

If there was an ocean quake in the Indian Ocean, and there were no ocean buoys physically monitoring the currents in the Indian Ocean, then, if not by water, try from the air, says this writer. Why, oh, why did they not click on to the obviously available government service to see if there was a tsunami, and of course there was, with a quake of that magnitude.

Looking at matters in another way, Native American medicine wisdom would indicate “the need to see” – what was going on over the ocean? So, then Eagle Medicine, Medicine Hawk was needed, to fly high over the place, the satellites were there, viewing the menacing crescent racing toward India and Sri Lanka, where there were two hours of phone calls and communications that could have still been made before the tsunami struck.

The only group of people who seem to be without casualties are the “stone age” groups of hunter-gatherers in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and another group near Indonesia. The first group immigrated there 70,000 years ago from Africa, according to Indian and Indian Army authorities, and one small community emerged unscathed from their retreat into the forest after the tsunami had passed, because they had been “able to read the signs” of the ocean’s impending menace and they left the shores before the waves struck their normal living areas. They still know how to use Hawk Medicine.

Another isolated tribe had a lively response of arrows to the helicopters hovering to drop aid, per BBC news. One must recall that these tribal people have survived not only tsunamis, but also the annihilation by European diseases that wiped out millions of other native people around the colonized world.

The oral tradition of the Indonesian group, per NPR live interview 7th January of the National Journalist stationed there, saved the second group of natives, because the oral histories, their folk-lore instructed them to run when the ocean “disappeared.” Naturally, one would think that the ones to have made up the oral tradition, or mythology, were the ones who lived to tell the story, the survivors of a long-ago tsunami, who did run away to the forest away from the coast when the ocean pulled back and “disappeared.”

These are the lands of the longest epic in the world, the fabled “Ramayana,” where the ocean between Sri Lanka and India is an issue, when an impending and inevitable battle requires the building of a bridge, and the “monkey-like” being, Hanuman, by his devotion and chaste behavior which imbues him with great life force and power, is the one who can jump over the sea to bring hope to the grieving Sita in the fruit grove in the evil ten-headed Ravana’s palace in Lanka.

The detail given on NPR on December 29th by director of the earthquake monitoring station, about the on-duty responsible person in the 21st century “jumping on a bicycle” to go respond to the alarm of the two beepers was not a good sign. In a hurry, people can fall off bicycles, and suppose the earthquake was nearby, precious minutes are lost pumping a bike while a car would be a wise choice to quickly move to attend the controls of the alarms. On a bicycle? Even if the distance was “a few hundred yards” the time delay of minutes for nearby quakes is not acceptable.

They sat around and others around the world, without making a few phone calls to the Red Cross wherever. (*All documentation is available here: It was the weekend, so even the UN was closed, or whoever is a global organization. Is this a problem? Yes. Suppose it is a great tip for terrorists to use weekends for increased lack of communications for timely responses to emergencies.

And if there wasn’t a subscription to satellite service, why not? Especially to see the whole Earth image, since per the center’s known capabilities of not having sea buoys in that part of the Earth, the Indian Ocean.

In Thailand, the Swedish diver’s wife did better than the PTWC. She textmailed “CATASTROPHE,” and “Tsunami.” Note that the Cal Poly Pomona professor and her husband saved from the Tsunamis during their scuba diving expeditions http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/news/122904_nw_quake_santa_monica_survivors.html

Also, the US Navy has outposts out on the Indian Ocean and they received warning, although they did not relay it to the affected Asian nations.


This inadequate and uncreative performance by the guys in the Hawaii PTWC points the way to the great need for creative and even theater arts people to be on teams that extrapolate information for the nation’s and the world’s well-being, people with imagination who can see possible solution scenarios that can be created with actors already on the world stage.

Around the world, the fate of thousands of women and children from traditional cultures, with their menfolk and families, hung in the decision-making process of a few men with advanced educations, at their offices and computers. Unless you were part of a traditional culture with a living oral history, you were in grave danger of the great wave.

Probably they needed to read the Ramayana for some hot tips on problem-solving for seemingly impossible challenges, defeat of impossibly demonic bad-guys, and fantastic geographical challenges which name the mountains in the Himalayas, the crossing to Sri Lanka, and various forms of flight over land and sea with interesting twists and turns of plot including a fish conceiving a celibate’s child from a drop of sweat dropped from the forehead of the chaste monkey Hanuman as he jumped the sea to Lanka. All these epics include profound symbolic meanings that can be deciphered like codes that leave The DaVinci Code looking like a beginner’s work. Which chronologically, it is compared to the Ramayana.

This land, Tamil Nadu, is the home of the oldest living language in the world, Tamil. There are writings in Tamil documenting dance culture 9,000 years ago. This civilization is outrageously interesting and has a rich heritage beyond the cultural scope of many Western societies. Consider the beloved Tamil book, the “Tirukkural.” This book gives delight to all lucky enough to know about it, in that it contains profound teachings within a few lines, with chapters dealing on all aspects of life and love. Please log on to http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2004-48,RNWE:en&q=tirukkural for a selection of translations online of the Tirukkural.

A sample: “They give sorrow to sorrow, who in sorrow do not suffer sorrow.” Or," They give trouble to trouble, who in trouble do not get troubled.”

Or the fresh version online http://www.chennaionline.com/columns/variety/variety58.asp
Remember, Chennai was known as Madras due to British influence some years. This website http://acharya.iitm.ac.in/cgi-bin/show_kural_ad.pl?11.llf shows the graceful characters of the Tamil script, akin to rococo curlicues.


Like the Nile’s floods, life in great and renewed diversity will arise from this tsunami. No doubt, as painful and horrific, there will be a great influence on many new lives, many new births to new, international families, which will no doubt be formed by the newly arrived international volunteers (http://www.google.com/tsunami_relief.html and http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/) which read like a United Nations palette of useful, educated, creative, talented, sincere, strong and many young people with heart with the wherewithal to pay their way and stay to help heal the Indian Ocean’s tsunami devastation.

Once, after a terrible fire destroyed the home of an important Native American matriarch, a wise man at another school said, “That is wonderful.” When the stunned audience asked why he said such a thing, he replied, “That means that you will get a new and better house to replace it.” Indeed, the outpouring of generosity to assist her accomplished such a thing.
Meanwhile, Back at the TWC Ranch Hawaii
The pathetic reporting of these earthquake guys in Hawaii on 26th of December, not “they did not have their counterparts’ telephone numbers,” to call to alert them of the seismic conditions is alarming, the lives of all people hang in their professionally uncreative and comfortable lifestyles.

Simple amateur Google searches would have saved thousands of lives. The Russian professor Vasili Titov, in Seattle on US Government payroll sat around for hours running math problems instead of phoning Chennai or Colombo as to what might be the result of the earthquake. He “did the programs and mathematical modeling of the quake, posted it on the web, and went home to sleep.” Per the New York Times on 31 December 2004, and the indispensable http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2004/s2357 . Per this website, Titov charted this work with his Japanese counterpart,” meanwhile not participating in a warning system. Then he “felt like he had already seen the effects already” when he awoke to the television footage of the devastation. This is ghastly; consider the waste of resources, academic, intellectual, and human in that endeavor that failed to save a single human being. There hours of opportunity to warn victims, seven hours by the time of the last of the wave in Somalia, Africa.

IN THEIR HEADS! Well-paid guys with the information, while women and children were swept out to sea by the tens of thousands in a large part of the casualties. By chance a woman survived by holding on to a palm tree at sea. She might have been upon a hill watching that palm was out from a distance safe and dry, had their local radios blared to get out of the shores.

A real-time 10-second search on Google:
Chennai Radio: Produced seven pages of “WORLD SATELLITE RADIO” which have telephone numbers all over Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
ATTACHMENT C: Seven pages of viable businesses and their telephones.

Radio is a powerful communication tool around the world where cell phones are not yet the norm. Everyone, this is World Disaster Tip 101. Radio is the vibrant chatroom of developing nations and personalized to their community.

In Mexico this writer hosted a talkshow on this type of Radio station, Voz del Silencio, XESQ, Radio San Miguel, where hundreds of thousands of people in a geographic area are listening on real time live radio for news, entertainment and a sort of on-air message service because of the lack of phones, paper and internet mail services or capabilities, and even lack of ground transportation in the area served by a radio station. Developing nations are noisy places in part due to blaring radio with real-live DJ’s who oftentimes have personal fan clubs and at times loyal followings rivaling any star or politician.


Many people indispensably stay up-to-date on various scheduled events and needed actions by a rural populace because the radio helps mobilize them and they adjust according to their transportation circumstances: moving about as needed on foot, donkey, boats, buses, cars or trains.


As of this writing, 7 January 2005, the biggest problem is lack of communication between the aid groups. One solution may be to set up such radio service, local radio stations that would communicate with people at once, this is not a difficult thing to do for ham radio enthusiasts, radio transmission antennas may be an urgent to communicate with relief aides and destitute people who can use radios but may not be internet-literate.

Ironically, once again in a megacrisis, what was needed was imagination: Why did nobody in authority at earthquake center Hawaii think something like this: “Oh, we don’t have ocean buoys in xyz parts of the globe. Suppose we just make up for that lack of equipment by having a subscription to the real-time satellite, that monitors ocean currents with color enhancement, and we can just see if there is tsunami activity where there are no physical monitors on Earth.


GOOGLE Internet search engine used to search: “weather satellites infrared”
http://www.travelphil.com/internet_eng/wetter/wetter.html
http://www.travelphil.com/internet_eng/wetter/wetter.html#a_wor_2
http://www.goes.noaa.gov/guam/GUAMIR.JPG
http://www.goes.noaa.gov/
http://www.goes.noaa.gov/
(DAILY SIGNIFICANT EVENT IMAGERY)

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/f_ind.html
(INDIAN OCEAN IMAGERY)

They are using European Satellite imagery:
http://www.eumetsat.de/

INDIAN OCEAN DATA COVERAGE SERVICE IMAGERY
THEN, CHOICE OF INFRARED IMAGES,

Sample printout: Attachment A of this search. Full view of the Indian Ocean. ATTACHMENT D

Another view over the Philippines:
http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/westpac/images/xxirgms5.GIF


How about if the earthquake-monitoring offices had called all the Red Cross offices in affected nations?
A real-time 15-second search on Google:
Red Cross Chennai produced immediate contact telephone numbers. It is then a possibility that the Red Cross personnel would have been able to continue appropriate contacts throughout India, Sri Lanka, and the Indian Ocean.
ATTACHMENT B: Red Cross India Contacts, address, telephones.

Just open the phone book for the country code, or ask long-distance operators to put the calls through. Or better yet, if there had been a phone line for such emergency notifications in case of other cataclysmic possibilities to notify American citizens around the globe.

How about a search for someone who would have to handle the job, anyway, “Google:
Indian Army “ There are numerous choices and several information websites, pre-tsunami. Their information website results in the email address: indianarmy@bol.net.in
For starters, would not hurt to email them instead of Hawaii earthquake monitoring agency’s lame comments that they “did not know their counterparts’ phone numbers” in Asia, as they are the pinup boys now of what is wrong with being stuck in linear-thought as they only seem to have considered phoning only earthquake managing agencies – “if they just had their phone numbers.”

Further creative solutions would have involved calling New York City Hindu associations, or any Indian person listed in the phone book, and contacting people there, to warn their relatives, through their close familial ties and excellent telephone and internet skills, many Indian people in the USA are internet and telecommunications professionals.

A bank of phone personnel for such event might be called for, when there is a general unusual alarm to set out through unconventional means, such as NPR or PBS might staff a fundraising phoneathon.

No doubt this great Indian Ocean Tsunami of 26 December 2004 will change the course of the world cultures, opening up the rich seabed of cultural pearls of southern India, Sri Lanka and the Asian people the tsunami affected. No doubt there will be new families of intercultural marriages, no doubt people will discover and swoon over the delights of hospitality, traditional south Indian vegetarian fare, and the astonishing volume of cultural heritage of the oldest language in continuous use on planet Earth, Tamil.

5,000 Years of Record-Keeping
Asia has at least 5,000 years’ head-start in the documentation, study and application of military stratagems along with the mythological literature and oral histories. Consider the enormous tomes that have been slowly translated on what were parts of the standard-issue general’s education, 55 military stratagems, with poetic names like: “Bedeck the dead tree with flowers,” “Disturb the waters in the East, attack in the West.” With the aid of diverse thought-aspects, including the use of the right-hemisphere, there is half-a world more of potential answers to a problem which include spatial, verbal and graphic concepts, and not just linear, left-hemisphere, data.

Consider the current American cinematic flop on Alexander the Great’s life. He is one of the Western-world’s cookie-cutter strategist of military science. He charged forth in a linear way to conquer the nations which also largely contributed to Western culture. He died in his thirties, and his legacy is at most thousands of years younger than the Asian military stratagems legacy.

It would seem advisable for all strategists, government and security forces, environmental management agencies at international levels to rise up to a global, hawk’s eye, vision of the challenges facing a culture that can sustain peace or successfully rebuff the unsustainable or endure inevitable acts of nature.
_______________________
–Tel. 805.746.1380 cell, yogaplanethealth@ojai.net.

Dr. Andre studied for 28 years with www.swamisatchidananda.org. Sri Satchidananda was a native of south India’s Tamil Nadu and used traditional Tamil literature and sayings to teach people to be “Easeful, peaceful, and useful.”™

In America and around the globe, including it with modern applications and eclectic sources of pragmatic solutions which resulted in the work of cardiologist Dean Ornish, MD, (http://www.shareguide.com/Ornish.html and the interfaith work of the Very Reverend James Parks Morton (www.interfaithcenter.org), and the environmentally-applied Integral Yoga® of Dr. Andre’s Yoga Planet Health® www.yogaplanethealth.org

This article is in response to the request of Colonel Charles W. Stark, USAF, Ret., of Olympia, Washington, a lifelong mentor of Dr. Marcela Andre.. Col. Stark considers the early warning argument (possible satellite infrared map tracking the tsunami currents and the calling of Red Cross agencies in Asia) an important argument worth publication.


Summary for reporting tsunamis:
Have a diversity of people to draw from for creative problem solving, including more women, artists, and Native American elders.
NOAA: TSUNAMI MEDIA KIT: http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tsunami-hazard/mediakit.htm
Very interesting diverse information for preparing and coping with effects of tsunamis.

UCSB is recognized by NOAA as tsunami-ready, the only American university with that status.

Earthquake alert
Get to office fastest way possible, someone should be there in person at all times, have all computers available for searches as needed.
Have subscriptions to real-time, infrared-coloring capable satellite images to track ocean currents on real-time.
Use the image to see where it is going
Call people wherever they can communicate with large groups, search according to popular industries, including Hotels in tourist destinations.

(Note that the San Luis Obispo Cal Poly professors saved from the Tsunamis during their scuba diving expeditions survived due to an incredibly agile communication as follows: The dive master’s wife sent a text message to him on his cell phone and he collected all the divers and got out as soon as possible. It was possible to have contacted people in advance).

Also, the US Navy has outposts out on the Indian Ocean and they received warning, although they did not relay it to the affected Asian nations.

The Japanese earthquake detection office did not relay messages despite very accurate measurements of the severity of the quake. The information was passed on to the recording scientist’s superiors. It is not clear, per the New York Times, why no warning activity was issued from Japan.

nestinghawktree@yahoo.com

Corrections: the updated version on divemaster, Cal Poly Professor:

Wife of Swedish diver emailed text message, Cal Poly professor is at Pomona, they really helped all people.

This is in updated version of this yet incompletely edited article.

Old Patriot

I'm the guy doing the imagery analysis for the Wiki Ground Zero Information page. I've been scouring the Internet for imagery. At the moment, that's the ONLY place I have access to satellite information. There aren't a lot of photos. There ARE some silly questions and comments. What most people don't realize is that most satellites store information online in digital format until they make a "pass" - a part of their orbit - over a designated ground station. At that point they dump the buffers, and the information gets downloaded to the ground site. Depending on the site, the interest in the imagery, and the capacity of the image processors, it can take anywhere from a half-hour to several WEEKS to actually process the data.

I spent 20+ years in the US Air Force looking at imagery from all over the world. Some commercial products are excellent - some are good for specific purposes, but not very good for detailed analysis of damage. DigitalGlobe and Space Imaging have provided the best data for damage assessment and disaster analysis available online. Even then, the extent of coverage available online for downloading leaves considerable to be desired.

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