The tragedy really begins to unfold

Reviewing my various RSS feeds, I’m literally taken aback by the sheer volume of commentaries about the Asia earthquake/tsunamis disaster by bloggers.

One feed in particular captured my imagination – first-hand accounts by Evelyn Rodriguez in Crossroads Dispatches. Evelyn was in Thailand on holiday and was caught up (and injured) in the tsunami there. She reports that she’s ok.

There are many others blogging, too, far too many to mention individually here. Here’s a blog set up in the aftermath of the disaster that’s a central point of much information – The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami blog. The visitor counter shows over 100,000 hits already.

Sri Lanka has the second-highest death toll (after Indonesia), according to the BBC. And there I have a personal connection – Gill and Roy Owen, two long-time friends of my parents who have lived in Sri Lanka for many years, can’t be reached. So we have no idea whether they are alive and well or not.

As the scale of this disaster unfolds – over 67,000 dead now, according to CNN this lunchtime – one harrowing element is reports saying that at least a third of all the deaths are children.

This comment on the BBC website today from D. Indika in Colombo, Sri Lanka:

These figures about deaths are only count of bodies in hospitals, but we can see bodies everywhere on roads, inside buildings, buses, trains and even in the sea. Thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles are in the sea and we can still see floating buses in deep sea.

The body count will increase substantially in the coming days, undoubtedly. Truly a tragedy.