Dec 29, 2004

Over 70 000 dead.

I was telling my boss yesterday that this'll be the disaster of my lifetime. Not only are the nations directly hit by the tsunamis affected, but the tourists from other nations are also affected. 3 000 Norwegians were vacationing in Thailand, and as of this writing, 300 are still not accounted for. For Sweden, the numbers are much higher. Tamils living in Norway have lost many family members on Sri Lanka. And the earthquake was so huge, it even shifted the planet a little!

I'm trying to understand why this is affecting me so. There have been other disasters and – awful as this sounds – 70 000 is nothing compared to the millions that have died of hunger and disease in Africa over the years. So why is this particular event getting my attention?

The only thing I can say is, I'm not alone. Many Norwegians are choosing to spend less money on fireworks for this New Year's celebration, and giving money to various humanitarian organizations to help the victims of the tsunamis. Also, Norway's bishops have asked for one minute's silence at the stroke of midnight. So I am looking forward to a quiet New Year's Eve for more than one reason.

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