500mph Waves vs. a Hippie on a Bicycle
Some time ago we had a debate on the value of a tsunami warning system, similar to that of the Pacific's, in the Indian Ocean. Now that some time has passed, and more is known about what actually happened... perhaps the debate can be put to rest.
The fact is... The system we have in the Pacific just isn't very good. But before we get to that, let's take a look at what happened.
The first person to hear of the quake of a fat hippie who happens to carry the beeper that gets alerted when the unmanned warning system detects a large undersea earth-quake. That particular hippie then... puts on his clothes... climbs on his bicycle and rides down to see what's what.
Initially the earthquake was greatly underestimated. they thought it was 6.5 or maybe 7.0. It wasn't until a few hours later that it was actualy bumped up to 8.0. That was the first time anyone in the US had any idea that a Tsunami was likely. Senarios were begun, as was a mad scramble to find reliable contacts in the high-risk areas.
This idea... that Americans were sitting by... just watching it all happen... is totally false. In fact, our tsunami detectors, and geologists didn't know about the Tsunami until they saw it confirmed on the internet.
The Tsunami hit Somalia before we could warn them.
Somalia is 3000 miles from the epicenter of the quake. The Tsunami reached it in just 6 hours.
Let us consider these facts shall we? Unmanned pager based watch systems... who's administrators admit on television it takes hours to confirm the existence of a Tsunami... and even longer to get a warning to relevant places.
Hours... Hours against 30 foot waves travelling at 500 miles per hour.
If a warning system had been in place, it's possible that someone in Somalia could've gotten word. The vast majority of the deaths however, wouldn't have been averted. The systems are designed for tsunami's that form far out in the vast expanses of the Pacific... where we would actually have time to act.
The Indian Ocean, is not the Pacific.
Let's face it boys... when the internet, and cable television are faster than your warning system, you have a problem.
There are places for such systems. The Pacific and the Atlantic make sense. The Indian Ocean does not. Its just a cold fact. Sometimes we are reminded that we are not all powerful. Sometimes we are ment to be humbled.
Those reaching for explaination... and looking for folks to blame... those seeking to circumvent such future disasters are simply excersizing base hubris.
There will always be natural disasters that wreak havoc. It is a natural condition of the World, as it was created by our Lord.