Talk:2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami/Archive 3

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Disasters in these places, when?

Would you collect the time (in UTC or local time) and height of tsunamis that hit these places?

  • India
    • Tamil Nadu
    • Chennai 0300 GMT (0830 local)
    • Pondichery
    • Kerala
    • Andhra Pradesh
    • Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Indonesia
    • Banda Aceh
  • Malaysia
    • Kedah
    • Perak
    • Selangor
    • Langkawi island
    • Penang 0330 UTC (1130 local), 0430 UTC (1230 local), 0615 UTC (1415 local), 2.4 - 3m reported. --Andylkl 10:29, Dec 27, 2004 (UTC)
  • Maldives 0630 GMT (1130 local)
    • Malé
  • Sri Lanka 0430 GMT (1030 local)
    • Trincomalee
  • Thailand
    • Phuket: 0130 GMT (0830 local)
  • Australia - I have seen no reports of the tsunami reaching the coast of WA, although since it is closer to the epicentre than Kenya it should have done. Adam 10:19, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC) -You're forgetting about all the islands (Sumatra, Java, etc) between the epicenter and Australia. It's all ocean towards Africa so there was nothing to block the wave. BanyanTree 10:39, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC). Also the NOAA computer simulation graphic in the article seems to show that the wave intensities were much higher for the waves heading west. Shameer 00:49, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
    The tsunami hit the coast of WA, Adam. Well, that's according to one of the news bulletins I watched tonight (Nine or Ten). Some cray boats broke their moorings, and there was some minor flooding. No significant damage. - Mark 13:22, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • Bangladesh
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Kenya
  • Myanmar
  • Oman
  • Réunion
  • Seychelles 2m
  • Singapore - No tsunami. Minor tremors reported. No injuries or deaths reported.
  • Somalia

The information collected could be used to develop more detailed maps. -- Toytoy 09:50, Dec 27, 2004 (UTC)

Fyi, it's pretty hard to get an accurate account from so many places. Btw, Pulau Pinang is Penang. --Andylkl 10:28, Dec 27, 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Andylkl. If you can get info for just the hardest hit areas it would be good. BanyanTree 10:39, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I'll wait a couple of days when the order is restored and scientists are telling stories. Now is not the best time to gather accurate information. Thanks for all your help. -- Toytoy 12:35, Dec 27, 2004 (UTC)

Word usage: Injured vs Wounded

I am wondering about the usage of the word Wounded and variations at multiple places in the article. Typical English usage for wounded refers to injuries inflicted by weapons or acts of militaristic aggression. I suggest a change to injure, injuries, injured, etc. (Note, it seems that American English dictionaries may be more ambivalent on this issue, which is why I am not making the edit directly myself.) Dictionary Defs gcom 18:15, 2004 Dec 27 (UTC)

American English usually makes the same distinction; injured is definitely more appropriate in this context. Tverbeek 18:19, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Warning rejected to protect tourism

I have asked the same question in the Dutch wikipedia: Should a mention of this be made:

From the Nation Newspaper:

Warning rejected to protect tourism

Published on December 28, 2004

Minutes after the earthquake hit northern Sumatra at 7.58am on Sunday, officials of the Meteo-rological Department, who were at a seminar in Cha-am, convened an emergency meeting chaired by Supharerk Tansrirat-tanawong, director-general.

They had just learned that the Bangkok office had reported a quake measuring at 8.1 on the Richter scale, which was much lower than the

level officially recorded later.

“We didn’t think there would be subsequent seismic waves, because a similar quake of 7.6 on the Richter scale, which hit Sumatra on November 2, 2002, did not affect Thailand,” said a member of the department who asked not to be named.
........
“We hesitated for a while whether we should issue a warning or not. It was discussed but we didn’t have a chance to do it.”

Supharerk denied that tourism factored into the discussion at the 11th hour. “I think we have done our best,” he said.

Precisely at 9am that Sunday, waves as high as 3 to 10 metres hit the main southern coastal provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Ranong.

Pravit Rojanaphruk

The Nation See: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2004/12/28/headlines/index.php?news=headlines_15908069.html

And another article with some background:

Waerth 02:25, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Number of Victims

Does it maybe make sense to distinguish between "expected" and actually confirmed dead? The numbers currently diverge greatly (about 23500 confirmed, 40,000+ feared dead...) Our number represents the later. It smells somewhat of sensationalism... -- Nils 02:31, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I would stay with the confirmed. I've also been a little worried that, even in the first day, the Wikipedia number has consistently been a thousand or more than that given in the media. I would keep the intro to a vague "tens of thousands" and give the updated confirmed number under the casualties section so the numbers don't end up diverging. BanyanTree 02:57, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think it would be good to bring down the estimated to confirmed deaths, but also to leave the estimates in place. Comrade Tassadar 06:26, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've added a separate column for estimated casualties. I have used the respective government estimates, so that any media sensationalism is reduced. Modifications welcome.
I think our current table is great. I am trying to keep it reasonably up to date, the numbers seem to stabilize somewhat now. Juggling casualty numbers around like this is surreal. -- Nils 10:47, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Agreed - I felt numb myself at the numbers. But serious question - does the Indonesia estimate start to look like a gross overestimate? The total for the estimated dead comes to around 62,000 now. Sri Lanka, India and Thailand seem believable. Should we treat Indonesia as an overestimate and "tone it down" or should we strictly report the numbers alone?
I'd say report the numbers as they come in. That's why they are "estimated numbers"... I just gave up adding up the total in that column for now. Too much variance. Personally, I feel that Indonesia is an over-estimate, but what do I know? For the "confirmed" column, I am using the most recent number I can find that is reported as "officially confirmed". This is probably as well as we can do. -- Nils 11:10, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've added up the individual estimates, but I admit - that value of 62,000 makes me go into denial. I'll try to add as many references as I can. Personally I fear the total estimate may turn out to be true, especially when we look at the number of people still missing.
AP is reporting significant increase in "confirmed" casualties in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Their number is just over 40,000; but they list India with 4400, where my number is >9000... I'll keep my number for India for now, until I can find a confirmation one way or another. -- Nils 11:47, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It is much worse than we thought.... we've exceeded 55,000 dead now according to the latest numbers.... -- 212.202.50.86 17:37, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
A note on the "1000 higher than other media" comment by BanyanTree: This seems to still be the case... I am simply taking figures from individual articles and lists that are reported as "officially confirmed". Could it simply be that we are, indeed, a few hours ahead of the major networks with our count? Was it not such a serious issue, the notion would amuse me terribly. Things being as they are, I'd rather be wrong. -- Nils 11:40, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The BBC are currently stating that approximately 50'000 have been confirmed dead now BBC News -- David, England 21:30, 28 Dec 2004 (GMT)

What happened to all the sources in the casualty figures? And did anyone notice that confirmed casualties in India is greater than estimated casualties? Please correct these if possible

More updates on the death toll. With the latest figure from Indonesia, we have exceeded 70,000. This is higher than mainstream media again, but they seem to include a much lower number for India in their totals. I am leaving our numbers as-is, as I have seen various reports of such high numbers. Looking for a figure for India now. -- Nils 13:06, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Indian tolls from Indian media are higher than international media and I would guess the local media are more up-to-date. Someone has added Netherlands. Shouldn't that be removed? I can't make out from the source cited whether the Netherlands actually has any island territories out there. Shameer 22:32, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I updated the numbers for the Maldives, ABC's source was the government and the government website [1] has new numbers. Sorry for the huge ammount of edits. Pawel Worach 21:53, 2004 Dec 30 (UTC)

Heads up! The "confirmed dead" number for India currently reads 13,230 and refers to this article: [2]. That article specifically says "7,330 are confirmed dead and another 5,900 are missing and presumed dead". How do we interpret this? Should we too presume them dead or should we add the 5,900 to the missing section and make the "estimated dead" read 13,230 instead?--128.46.143.159 05:47, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You described it correct. "Presumed dead" is not "confirmed dead", I would simply list them in the "estimated dead". Don't put any number into confirmed casualties that are not reported as "officially confirmed". We do not want to be alarmists or succumb to media hype. -- Nils 15:23, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Estimates et al.

Okay please do not just make up numbers :-) "Estimate" does not simply mean current casualties multiplied by 2. How can there be an estimate of 80,000 dead in Indonesia when the confirmed detah toll is slightly less than 37,000 with another 1200 officially missing? At least, cite some sources please!

Also, please note that I have removed the total number for injured; there's really no numbers for injured people to be found in the news reports so the column is, at best, total guesswork.

Finally, I removed the border: collapse thing as it was causing problems for me, and the table looked quite odd (mozilla). -- Nils 14:36, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

+comment+

Its just very difficult to come to terms with the numbers. But i can tell you anecdotally that even 100k or 200k is conservative.

The damage is extremely bad within say 1,000 miles of the epicentre and tsunamis and it appears that in many cases, the worst case scenario has happened. With no surviving infrastructure and no survivors, to report accurate figures in a timely manner, whether dead or missing. In the case where all landing strips and roads are destroyed, investigation into numbers by 3rd parties are also impaired, and really is not a priority, unless there is reason to believe there are dead and wounded. Satellites seem to be the only source of info at the moment.

--

While this is not relevant for a permanent reference work, for some time I have had the following thoughts: -casualty figures are largely based on the number of bodies recovered. -Figures for missing tourists, which may be more reliable than for local residents as they are known not to have returned or made contact, seem to be very roughly ten times the number of confirmed dead, although an unknown number of bodies will have been recovered, counted, and buried unidentified. -It would seem to be in the nature of a tsunami wave to invade the land, and then drain back to the sea, carrying people and objects out to sea, never to return. Consequently, I would expect the number of missing but dead people to be several times larger than the confirmed dead. A final figure of well over a million does not seem unreasonable. Will somebody please tell me I am wrong? 213.208.107.91 06:47, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Diego Garcia and the Chagos Archipelago

I have been unable to find any information on damage to Diego Garcia and the Chagos Archipelago. Has anyone heard anything at all?

DG seems fine: [3]. Mark1 04:41, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Was just about to post that one myself. -- Cyrius| 04:43, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

US Base had information about possible Tsunamis immedietly following the earthquake. [4]

The IACenter article sounds more like somebody's propaganda rant than a valid source. The ABC article was vague. If Diego Garcia actually was spared, it would seem especially fortunate. Diego Garcia is more or less directly south of the Maldives, and they were flattened.

Here's some more reliable information: http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=26265 http://www.kesq.com/Global/story.asp?S=2736548 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/story.jsp?story=596628 http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/12/28/news/warning.html

Uruguayan deaths

The article says two Uruguayans have been "confirmed dead" I'm from Uruguay and have not heard of this. The only news was of two Uruguayans missing for a while and then having sent an email to confirm that they are well. I had removed the reference but it has been reverted. Does anybody know the source of this? Thanks.

I cannot find a current citation on Uruguayan death confirmations. Move to remove this data. Zosodada

Ever expanding death toll

Hi. Has anyone noticed that the number of deaths has been doubling daily for the past couple of days? I know that this tragedy has certainly claimed many, many lives, but it seems to be a tendency in grave tragedies, such as this one, to exaggerate the figures, at least at first. If I remember correctly, in the days following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the world press "informed" that over 6 thousand people had died. It didn't take long for everybody to find out that the actual number was about half of that. Now, yesterday we had 23 thousand dead, today it's 51 thousand? I don't know, that may even turn out to be accurate, but I'm not quite confident in that. Maybe we should be more careful in reflecting those numbers? At the very least, we should make it clearer in the article that those figures are for now speculative, since the actual number is difficult to calculate given the mayhem caused by the disaster. Any thoughts? Regards, Redux 18:18, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That would be an opinion, IMO. If we can cite someone else as saying it, sure, but until then, we report what others report, not what we think. No original research. Johnleemk | Talk 18:25, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't see it as an opinion (although it is indeed my opinion that the figures are likely to be exaggerated) so much as it is a suggestion: that we are more careful with what we inform before the situation is completely resolved and final figures are divulged. It goes to credibility. I find it somewhat dangerous for us to adopt a position in the line of reporting what others are reporting. What if it turns out that others (some others, since nobody could possibly have consulted all sources available, and reports can sometimes vary considerably from one country to another, or from one newspaper to another, for that matter) had been reporting wrong? I cite again the September 11 death toll reports, a complete fiasco. Should that be the case, we come off looking like another of those internet websites, mindlessly repeating what has been fed to us. The "someone else" in question are the governments affected, of course, they are the ones who release the figures, and if it turns out that they have "killed" 20 thousand more people than those who actually died, they will claim that they never affirmed peremptorily that X people had died, or they will attribute the mistake to the mayhem that had set in. Given the present situation there, I find this to be almost inevitable. Besides, this is an encyclopedia, not a news site, theoretically, we shouldn't even be "reporting" anything, which means this page should not be here before the situation has resolved itself completely... but that is, again, my opinion. Anyways, all I meant is that we should alter the text, maybe only slightly, to reflect the fact that those figures are preliminary and thus subject to error (e.g.: "early reports" or "initial calculations...", something in that line). The present text says "was reported to be more than 59 thousand", but that is just not clear enough on the fact that the figure is an early estimate and is (considerably) subject to error. Regards, Redux 20:24, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Talking about expanding death tolls, I think there's an extra zero at the mention of the 1978 earthquake in Iran. It should be 25,000 instead of 250,000. See third paragraph on this page: http://earthquakeadvisor.com/articles/00067.html .

The "preliminary numbers" idea is a good one. Ideally, people are not just changing the grand total. I've been trying to find country-specific news articles to alter the country sections, and only occasionally moving the figure up to the table and calculating a new total. Numbers that aren't grounded in country sections info just should not be used. And the 9-11 analogy rings a little hollow as the death totals are moving in opposite directions. There was speculation of 60K dead early on 9-11, while in the first 24 hours of this article there was a line "If casualties reach 25,000..." And the fact that the reported Indonesian number is about half of what might be credibly extrapolated from the hard count in Banda Aceh makes me think that the numbers are not outrageous. BanyanTree 21:20, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I agree with the notion that numbers not based on country sections are to be avoided, that does reduce the odds of divulging a (too) wrong figure. I still stand by my 9-11 analogy. Like all analogies, one must bear in mind the mutatis mutandi rule. In this case, I believe the main aspect is the considerably larger area affected by the disaster. In New York (main site of 9-11), the area directly affected was the equivalent of a couple of city blocks (ground zero), whilst here thousands of kms of coastal line are involved. But even in that contained area in New York, and this I remember very well, the media first said the dead were about 4 thousand, then it was 4,5 thousand (hours later) and suddenly it was 6 thousand. Then the U.S. government finally made it clear that the actual number was a little more than 3 thousand (i.e., the media had "killed" over 2,5 thousand extra people). That seems to be exactly what we are seeing here: numbers going up exponentially while the dust hasn't even settled yet. Mutatis mutandi, since the area affected is much, much larger, comprising several countries and affecting a enormouly larger number of people. I believe it to be inevitable that eventually we will find out that the real numbers are smaller (and maybe much smaller) than those divulged in these few days immediatelly after the tragedy (which is what happened in 9-11). In fact, this could turn out to be a good section for this article, but it could only be developed later, when the final figures are in, and if they do in fact differ considerably from those being divulged now (like it happened in 9-11). Regards, Redux 22:41, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It's possible you're right. I am certainly taking the numbers with a grain of salt, but it's hard to say what an appropriate solution would be. I have an different worry: since so many of the affected areas do not have accurate census numbers (especially the insurgent-affected areas of Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and regions in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands), we're never going to get hard total numbers like was possible with 9-11. The "missing" numbers we're reporting are never going to reach zero, and we're going to end up with a "Y confirmed and an additional Z suspected deceased". Though I do admit that a section on how the numbers changed would be interesting eventually. BanyanTree 23:30, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I hope it turns that you're right, Redux, and the numbers end up being lower than the figures we're currently seeing. However, I see the situation here as being significantly different than the figures that were reported in the aftermath of 9-11. There, the initial estimates were based largely on conjectures about how many people might have been in the buildings. As we learned more about how many people were there to begin with, and how many got out safely, the death toll estimates came down. In the current situation, the initial estimates were quite low, and have been increasing as confirmed deaths are reported from across the vast area affected by the tsunamis. I agree that there is often a tendency in the media to sensationalize figures, but I think here we are seeing almost the opposite - a conservative bias in the reporting that is causing the total numbers to increase as information slowly becomes available from ever-more-remote areas. Jpo 23:41, Dec 28, 2004 (UTC)

That's another aspect of the issue. How reliable are those reports coming from remote areas? I mean, countries such as India and Sri Lanka already have dificient infrastructure in regular conditions (no offense). Now, after all that destruction, how can we expect reliable data in so little time? I've seen testimonials given by people who are there (usually via telephone), and everybody says that the tsunamis wreaked havoc all over Asia and the governments were unprepared to handle such a large-scale tragedy. So I gather governments are releasing figures based on speculation and assumption (to a certain extent), which the media retransmits with a coat of absolute certainty that I do not believe could exist in only two days (doesn't that resembles what Jpo said about early estimates in 9-11? Figures based on estimates, at least to a certain extent. Sure the body counting has already begun in Asia, and that didn't quite happen in New York - most of the bodies were not even found, as they were "cremated" in the building, but again, mutatis mutandi, given the very different sizes of the two tragedies. They can count the bodies in Asia, but the task is just overwhelming and could not be performed accurately in such little time). To complicate matters further, some of the affected areas are touristic resorts, and those always have a fluctuating population (tourists coming and going, and even locals who come in and out to render services or small jobs). Even with the manifests from the local hotels, it's just impossible to say how many people were actually at any given beach when the tsunamis came. In that scenario, I can't see how any of those countries could provide a reliable estimate of victims in a matter of hours. I don't agree that information is "slowly becoming available". If anything, I'd say it's becoming available a little too fast (and thus tends to be inaccurate) given the size of the affected area and the generally deficient local infrastructure. Regards, Redux 00:25, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't know about the current numbers - I didn't do the last update - but I always made a point out of listing numbers reported as "confirmed". From what I read in the reports, this is based in most cases on actual bodies recovered/counted. That's why we have two columns, confirmed and estimated casualties. Of course the number of dead doubles every day - communications to many affected areas have broken down completely. The 9/11 case was exactly the opposite - there was a known number of people in the buildings, but due to tremendous luck the attack occured during an "off time", so to speak, and only much fewer people died.

Anyway, the point is: I think we are pretty safe with our numbers. If you want to do it better, by all means, go to South Asia and

America should do more

Great WIKI folks--very well maintained.

Though the 'discussion' is primarily about working on the page as apposed to the content of the page, I just HAD to voice my opinion somewhere. I'm quite sad that we spend hundreds of millions every day in Iraq, yet can only muster a measly $35 million to help those around the Indian Ocean.

We Americans should do more.

Why not leave nationality out of it and say the world should do more to help out?

US$ 35 was just an immediate sum until needs are better known.

The US is reported by its officials to have given 40% of the international foreign aid last year, even if Europe is bigger.

It has already been widely reported on December 31 that the US is increasing its aid from $35 million to $350 million. -- Curps 11:00, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Don't forget statistics never show the amount of privately funded aid that US citizens give. The 40% of international aid only includes the money from governments. Not included in the figures are money from charities, and food and supplies and etc aid. If you include public and private aid given by US citizens, the total aid given world wide each year from the US would be between 60% and 80%, depending on the year. This also does not include the money used within the US itself.Lokifer 11:11, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"Sorting countries alphabetically makes it easier to retrive data."?

Is that true? Don't all browsers have on-page search? Isn't it easier to spot vandalism of the numbers if they are somewhat ordered in ranking. Guestimating the sum quickly now becomes a little cumbersome.

Don't want to start a stupid revert war, so I'm throwing it up here. - Henk Poley 20:27, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Ordering numerically, and then alphabetically, seems more logical in this case. BanyanTree 21:12, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
If we wanted to depend on on-page searching, we wouldn't need any real sorting for anything at all. It just seems counterintuitive to sort by casualties. This is a table of information. It is not a table of "holy crap, look what the max casualties is". If everyone else thinks it looks neet that way, then fine. I have no intention of putting it back the way I had it. - stack
Heh...and my bad misspelling "retrieve". I feel kinda dumb now. - stack
I don't want to start an edit war, so I'll ask this question before I think of making any changes. In the short paragraph following the table of casualties, the lead sentence begins "India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have suffered the maximum number of casualties". With the current death toll reports showing that India's toll is much lower than the other two, would it be appropriate to delete India from that sentence? My concern is to somehow indicate that Indonesia and Sri Lanka have been the hardest hit countries without quantifying and/or dehumanizing death.--128.46.143.159 09:40, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Probably the best solution is to remove this sentence altogether. It's not even needed anyway, since all the numbers are right in the table just above, which is ordered in numerical order. It's almost impossible to make an NPOV statement about what constitutes a "vast majority" without seeming to trivialize the "minority" suffering. -- Curps 09:52, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Proposal for New "Lost Citizen (standalone) Page"

Just like the "Donation (standalone) Page", I guess we can separate the "Lost Citizen" list from this page (Lost Citizen List) into a standalone page.

This way we can help the the worrying families, and also consolidate the "Lost Citizen" info; since the original page (Countries affected), IMO, is kinda too broad.

By "too broad" I meant, that page is basically divided into 2 parts, the "Area Damaged/Affected" & "People Missing". I guess we should dedicate a standalone page just for "Missing People".

--Godric 21:54, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)

I don't think that there is need for a separate page. An external links section for finding the missing at the bottom of the main page, and linked to from the top, would seem adequate. The "lost citizens" idea sounds like either a wikimorial or duplication of sites for the missing that already exists, which I do not support. BanyanTree 22:19, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. I'll try adding those links. Also, will try to encourage people to add in external site links of the "Missing people sites" out there.

December 23 "Australian" quake

Not sure why the article repeatedly refers to a quake centred near New Zealand's Auckland Islands as an "Australian earthquake". The epicentre was reportedly 320 km from the Auckland Islands, NZ and 800 km from the NZ mainland - it was 480 km from Macquarie Island and 1200 km from the Aus. mainland. Grutness|hello? Grutness.jpg

BBC News 22.00 UTC 30 Dec

Reports of 'probably hundreds of thousands' dead in Sumatra alone, mainly on the west coast where several towns apparently totally destroyed. Not sure how to fit this into the article - MPF 22:13, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Just wait for more solid information. This is Wikipedia, we can be a day late with information. -- Cyrius| 22:51, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yes, let us not engage in speculation. -- Nils 11:19, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Economic Impact

Should we add something related to the economic impact that this disaster will have to the Region and to the world? Taking 100,000 people out of the economies, as well as displacing another 5,000,000 is likely to have a discernable affect.

I know it sounds very cold (and I don't mean it to be so), but long-term (and wikipedia is "long-term" a disaster of this magnitude may make substantial and permenent changes to the economic relationships of the affected countries.

Sounds like a mention of estimated cost under Damage would be appropriate and then detail under the intro paragraphs under Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The insurance company estimate I heard was USD 12 billion property damage, not counting the lost future economic production of the dead. The name "humanitarian response" doesn't quite fit, but anything to keep the growth of this article under control. BanyanTree 22:55, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

-comment-

I understand the reinsurance impact is under 20 billion at present. But its probably far higher at the insurer and claimant level due to uninsured or unclaimable losses.

The economic impact will largely depend on whether the rating agencies downgrade the credit ratings of the affected countries and its neighbours and whether there is a selling wave by highly leveraged institutions like hedge funds short selling currencies and trying to flip them.

Also tourism is affected, probably to the extent of the SARS outbreak. And airline stocks like SIA already reflect this, although Singapore did not suffer any local casualties. This may lead to order cancellations and may affect BOEING particularly. (AIRBUS having fewer orders here)

Phukets prostitution industry, which is dependant on tourists, has suffered a major setback as streets are still hard to walk, and there are fewer travelers.

It now appears that the depth of the Straits of Malacca has been cut from greater than 1km to less than 100m. If this turns out to be true, the long term economic impact on the world is tremendous, as crude tankers from the Middle East will no longer be able to go to refineries in Singapore. The consequent relocation of refineries to new regions could cause oil supply interuptions for many years to come.