by Edward Langenback

© 12/29/04

The top international news on everyone's mind these days is more and more getting to be the earthquake and resulting Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. This has been a hard one to watch unfold as the death tolls rise to unheard of levels.

When I first heard about it, the death toll was estimated at around 10,000. But what I did not think of was the fact that this was a very early preliminary figure based more than anything else on what things looked like. I didn't stop to think that such numbers are almost always FAR lower than the final total. It shocked me a little when the next time I heard about it on the local news, the number of dead was being reported at around 22,000. Later the numbers became numbingly incomprehensible as the number of dead was reported to pass the 40,000 mark. By the time I loaded the first story about it on Iwon.com's news pages, it had reached 52,000 people in 11 nations with many more expected to be added to this, the most gruesome statistic I've heard about since World War Two.

As I'm sure that some certainly will, I am NOT saying that this disaster is one of the judgments fortold in Revelation. However, I am saying that with a disaster of this scale it would do good to remember that the day is drawing closer all the time.

Think about it for a moment. The forces involved in that undersea quake are truely beyond mental grasp of most people. It measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, which means that it was a million times more powerfull than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in WWII. The wave of water was fifty feet high when it got to Sumatra. and it was moving at five hundred miles per hour. We should all thank God that it wasn't worse.

As for comprehending how much force was involved, I heard one report that the Earth literally wobbled on it's axis because of that earthquake.

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Tsunami Death Toll Climbs to 52,000
Dec 28, 3:08 PM (ET)

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - Mourners in Sri Lanka used their bare hands to dig graves Tuesday while hungry islanders in Indonesia turned to looting in the aftermath of Asia's devastating tsunamis. Thousands more bodies were found in Indonesia, dramatically increasing the death toll across 11 nations to more than 52,000.

Indonesia's Health Ministry said in a statement that 27,178 people were confirmed killed on Sumatra island, the territory closest to the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake, which sent a giant tsunami rolling across the Indian Ocean.

The ministry statement said this figure did not include data from districts on Sumatra's hard-hit western coast, including the town of Meulaboh - meaning that the final death toll will almost certainly rise significantly.

Earlier, the country's national disaster director, Purnomo Sidik, said 10,000 people were killed in Meulaboh alone.

There was no immediate explanation why the Health Ministry statement did not count the figure given by Sidik or figures from other parts of the west coast.

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Of course, with so many dead and so much destroyed, disease is expected to run rampant among the survivors.

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Disease Lurks for Tsunami Survivors
Dec 28, 2:06 PM (ET)

VELANKANNI, India (AP) - Thousands of homeless people used open spaces as toilets along India's ravaged southeastern coast Tuesday as health and aid workers worried about the growing danger of epidemic from a lack of hygiene and the rotting of unburied bodies.

All around the Indian Ocean, the aftermath of Sunday's mammoth earthquake and tsunami waves is a spectacle of filth, leading the World Health Organization to warn that disease could kill as many people as the actual disasters.

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After reading that last story, I was absolutely dumbfounded to see this one. All I can say is that telling people that tens of thousands of dead bodies do not present an absolutely incredible health hazard is to say the least, Irresponsible. More than that, It's a deadly lie that is probably going to get even more people killed.

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Group: Bodies Pose No Threat of Outbreaks
Dec 29, 7:31 PM (ET)

Dead bodies cannot cause disease outbreaks, the Pan American Health Organization said Wednesday, hoping to avert mass burials of tens of thousands of unidentified victims from the tsunami in Asia and Africa.

There is no danger of corpses contaminating water or soil because bacteria and viruses cannot survive in dead bodies, said Dana Van Alphan, an adviser to the organization's Office of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief.

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As if it wasn't already high enough, the death toll reached another heart rending high. By the time this AP story appeared on iwon.com, I had just seen World News Tonight saying that the number had reached 100,000. and that disease was expected to kill another 100,000.

Stop and say that out loud slowly....

*One* *Hundred* *Thousand* *Dead* from the earthquake and tsunami.
in the space of a few hours.

*One* *Hundred* *Thousand* *Dead* from disease and starvation.
in the following weeks.

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Asia Toll Nears 77,000 As Aid Arrives
Dec 29, 3:29 PM (ET)

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) - Cargo planes touched down with aid Wednesday, bearing everything from lentils to water purifiers to help survivors facing the threat of epidemic after this week's quake-tsunami catastrophe. The first Indonesian military teams reached the devastated west coast of Sumatra island, finding thousands of bodies and increasing the death toll across 12 nations to nearly 77,000.

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One of the things that gets my attention about this earthquake and the tsunami it caused is that in Matthew 24 when Jesus talked about the signs of the end of the age and listed "earthquakes" as one of them. He also said that these were the beginnings of sorrows (or birth pangs). If this be the beginnings, heaven help us!

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Tsunami Survivors Scavenge for Food
Dec 29, 2:22 PM (ET)

MEULABOH, Indonesia (AP) - In town after town, the scene was the same from the helicopter taking one of the first glimpses of Sumatra's ravaged coast: whole villages ripped apart, covered in mud and sea water. The only signs of life were a handful of desperate people scavenging a beach for food.

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Some of the science behind the tsunami. Exactly what happened?

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Tidal Wave Began Beneath Indian Ocean
Dec 28, 7:17 AM (ET)

LONDON (AP) - The chain reaction that sent enormous, deadly tidal waves crashing into the coasts of Asia and Africa on Sunday started more than six miles beneath the ocean floor off the tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Geologic plates pressing against each other slipped violently, creating a bulge on the sea bottom that could be as high as 10 yards and hundreds of miles long, one scientist said.

"It's just like moving an enormous paddle at the bottom of the sea," said David Booth, a seismologist at the British Geological Survey. "A big column of water has moved, we're talking about billions of tons. This is an enormous disturbance."

Moving at about 500 mph, the waves took more than two hours to reach Sri Lanka, where the human toll has been horrific, and longer to spread to India and the east coast of Africa.

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