GENERAL >> General Comments >> Tsunami death toll rises to 225,000

Message started by Watchman on Jan 1st, 2005 at 11:07am

Title: Tsunami death toll rises to 225,000
Post by Watchman on Jan 1st, 2005 at 11:07am

Tsunami death toll rises to 225,000
Updated: January 19, 2005
The death toll from the Boxing Day tsunami disaster increased to more than 225,000 today as the Indonesian health ministry raised the number of dead in the country by more than 50,000.
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250 members of ancient Jarawa tribe survive tsunami
January 6, 2005
Members of the ancient Jarawa tribe emerged from their forest habitat Thursday for the first time since the Dec. 26 tsunami and earthquakes that rocked the isolated Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and in a rare interaction with outsiders announced that all 250 of their fellow tribespeople had survived.
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Tsunami Death Toll May Reach 200,000
Updated: January 02, 2005
The world will never know how many people lost their lives in the cataclysm that struck the Indian Ocean region a week ago.
The official death toll moved incrementally forward to 123,184 yesterday, with more than 80,000 of these in Indonesia and nearly 30,000 in Sri Lanka. But one leading observer Laila Freivalds, the Swedish Foreign Minister said after visiting Thailand: "The whole area is still chaotic. Dead bodies are being collected, boats are arriving from the islands loaded with dead people. In the whole area, the death toll is beginning to rise towards 200,000."
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January 1: Death toll from the Indian Ocean tsunami, according to government and health officials.

East Africa 137*
Bangladesh 2
Burma 36
India 12,709**
Indonesia 79,940 up to 100,000
Malaysia 72
Maldives 73
Sri Lanka 28,508
Thailand 4,500***

Total 125,977

* The tsunami killed people as far away as east Africa. This figure includes Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania.
**The Indian government says there are 12,709 confirmed and presumed dead.
***Data from Thai national and provincial disaster centres collated by Reuters, includes at least 2,230 foreigners.

Title: Andaman anger at aid 'failures'
Post by Watchman on Jan 1st, 2005 at 11:08am

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More photos here

Andaman anger at aid 'failures'

New arrivals in Port Blair say people elsewhere are starving
Tsunami survivors in India's Andaman Islands have accused the authorities of underplaying the extent of devastation and failing to hand out aid.

Frustration boiled over in the town of Campbell Bay when a crowd demanding food and water assaulted an official.

A disaster management committee is meeting in the capital, Port Blair, to assess the relief effort.

Nearly 9,000 people are known to have died across India, 700 of them in the islands, with thousands more missing.
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Constant fear haunts Andaman tourists

The several aftershocks that have been rocking Andaman and Nicobar Islands since last Sunday's earthquake have instilled a sense of mortal fear in the people, especially tourists, in Port Blair.
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As many as 656 Nicoborese aborigines in the worst-affected Nicobar Islands are dead and about 3,000 belonging to the tribe are missing five days after the tsunami hit the southern coastline of the country.

Official figures put the population of Nicoborese at 28,653 as per the 2001 census.

Government would be sending teams to areas where the aborigines -- Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, Sentinelese, Shompens and Nicoborese -- live to make a factual assessment of their present status, a senior Home Ministry official today said.

According to official figures, 49 Andamanese living in Strait Islands were safe while 94 Onges in Little Andaman's have been surveyed by a helicopter and were safe.

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More about the Andaman people

Early Africa to Asia Route Mapped

By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Early humans approximately 100,000 years ago traveled from Africa to Asia via a southern route that likely passed along the coasts of what are now Pakistan and India, according to researchers at Oxford University.

The finding helps to explain how humans began to settle in Asia, and why certain isolated populations throughout Southern Asia share a common history and possess similar genes.

Researchers were able to map the migration route after identifying a genetic marker in samples of inaccessible populations from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The samples were provided by the Natural History Museum of London.

A paper detailing the study is published in the current issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Andaman Islanders, who live as hunter-gatherers, largely remain isolated from the developed world. Since the earliest days of Victorian anthropology they have fascinated scholars by their distinctive appearance. They possess very dark skin, tight curly hair and are short in stature compared to other groups in the region.

Because of their ancient way of life, remote location and distinctive physical appearance, scientists have speculated that the Andaman people represent the original inhabitants of the area, possibly those who left Africa between 53,000-93,000 years ago.

Phillip Endicott, a researcher in the Henry Wellcome Ancient Biomolecules Center of Molecular Evolution at Oxford University's Department of Zoology, and his colleagues discovered that the Andaman people possess a certain kind of DNA found in their cellular mitochondria. This haplogroup, or lineage, appears to be a subgroup, called M2, of a genetic marker linking many Asian people: M.

The presence of M2 could explain why some people in southern Asia share similar characteristics.

"There are many similarities between groups of hunter-gatherers within India and Southeast Asia," Endicott told Discovery News. "Our paper shows that there is on average a 23 percent occurrence of M2 within these groups in India."

Travel, intermingling with other cultures and recent population changes could explain why M2 is not present in all Asians. The closeness of the M and M2 groups, however, does provide a genetic link.

"The findings suggest that the similarities between these now isolated populations of Asia are not coincidental and that these peoples really do share a common history," commented Chris Stringer, a professor at the Natural History Museum in London.

Stringer added, "The presence of M2 in significant proportions amongst the more European-looking caste populations of India indicates that many of these early settlers were absorbed into later population expansions."

Endicott and his team, through the "Indian Rim Project" funded by the National Environment Research Council, hope to further determine how early humans evolved and migrated from Africa to Asia.

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Picture(s): Courtesy of The Andaman Organization
Copyright 2002 Discovery Communications Inc.

Title: Victims of the tsunami pay the price of Iraq war
Post by Ayinde on Jan 5th, 2005 at 1:51pm
US and British aid is dwarfed by the billions both spend on slaughter

By George Monbiot, Guardian UK

There has never been a moment like it on British television. The Vicar of Dibley, one of our gentler sitcoms, was bouncing along with its usual bonhomie on New Year's Day when it suddenly hit us with a scene from another world. Two young African children were sobbing and trying to comfort each other after their mother had died of Aids. How on earth, I wondered, would the show make us laugh after that? It made no attempt to do so. One by one the characters, famous for their parochial boorishness, stood in front of the camera wearing the white armbands which signalled their support for the Make Poverty History campaign. You would have to have been hewn from stone not to cry.

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