Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tidbits of S.E. Asia: Tsunami

I went diving outside of Khoa Loc, Thailand, the town that received the brunt of the tsunami Dec. 26th , 2004. The beach front is still scarred and naked. It is eerie to be in a place where over 200,000 people died. I asked on the dive boat if they had any idea what had gone on the day the tsunami hit. They "explained" that they didn't know as they were out to sea but they had noticed, depending on the depth of the water they were in, a 20-60 foot rise and immediate fall in water level. Only when they returned to shore from their overnight trip did they see, and know the devastation on shore. The reef 40 miles off shore also suffered from the tsunami, but from it's undertow. Over 40% of the reef was devastated. Hard coral grows at a rate of one inch per year. The reef looks as if a mower went through at about an 8 inch height. This of course has effected marine life as they have not had shelter and they have begun to die off. Then of course add global warming, pollution and collection of marine species for home aquariums to the mix and you have a sad situation. Not the wonderland I thought it would be, but real life none the less.

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