[Marxism] On the Tsunami

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Wed Dec 29 07:58:35 MST 2004

On Monday 27 December 2004 11:00, Carlos A. Rivera wrote:

> From: "Les Schaffer" <schaffer at optonline.net>
> > it's been said that many would have been saved if they could have moved
> > inland couple hundred yards.
> Even so, how many would have survived in those areas where this was
> possible?

we should wait till detailed on-the-ground assessments are published, but in 
the meantime:

o death due to: 
 - crushing (wave impact)  -- from pictures i saw, this occured close to beach
 - debris impact (logs, boats, etc) -- close to beach and in strong currents
 - drowning -- one report said people have good survival chances if water is 
waist deep or shallower. many swept back out to sea.

o in the pictures i saw the wave impact dissipated over a 100 yards inland. 
shoreline, trees, and buildings all suck energy from wave.

o so unless we hear facts to the contrary, i think it IS reasonable to agree 
with the statement published on the 26-th that evacuation of several hundred 
yards would have accomplished a great deal in terms of saving life (not 

> The reason I ask is because the areas that were hours away (India etc) have
> coaslines that are at sea level in the most part for miles and miles on
> end. I am actually suprised, considering the density of the population and
> the hugeness of the event there are so little dead.

again, depends on water depth. that far inland waist deep or lower is 
__initially__ survivable.

> Lets say, for arguements sake, that this was New Orleans we were talking
> about, and that you 2 hours to evacuate. 20,000 dead would be the minimum
> in that situation, and we are talking a major port of an imperialist
> country! It took two full days to evacuate in the last hurricane season!, 

we are talking 100's of yards, not evac. steel re-inforced buildings would 
provide safe haven, especially above ground floors.

> but this belittles the significance of the 
> geological event, it was a huge once-in-a-lifetime event 
true to the extent that many of the largest tsunamis have been in the Pacific. 
on the other hand, this particular fault line was well known to be capable of 
producing tsunami. Sri Lankan's might, given a choice, decide to spend $40M 
on improving it's  food supply rather than a tsunami warning system, India 
just announced it would spend that amount on a warning system.

> that even 
> imperialist countries would be hard pressed to face un-scratched.

property: true, life: not so true.

les schaffer

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