Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Great Tsunami That Nearly Destroyed the Eastern Hemisphere

n the end of December 2004, a catastrophic tsunami caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people and affecting millions of lives. Video footages from all news stations as well as home videos were soon broadcast to the world, revealing towns and villages completely destroyed. As the news and footages were received, people from around the world struggled to embrace and grasp the reality of this epic disaster.
The tsunami had destroyed coastlines throughout 12 different countries in the eastern hemisphere, reducing them to piles of wood and broken glass. At the epicenter of earthquake that triggered the tsunami lies Aceh, a province located in Indonesia. Aceh was known to be ground zero, where 170,000 people perished their lives, nearly 17,000 lost a parent, and another 14,000 became orphans. It is the most severely devastated area of all the countries.
The economic impact the disaster caused was just as immense as the calamity of human lives. The majority of South Asia was already in poverty before the Tsunami arrived. Now, hundreds of thousands of residents had their lives destroyed. Nearly 5 million people had been left homeless. Fishermen and their equipment has been shattered. Business, resorts, and other major tourist attractions had been desolated.
As communities around the world grasp the Tsunami's intense devastation, global leaders band together and initiated relief efforts. Within 24 hours, countries from around the world provided food and assistance. In one month, the various countries had poured in over $4 billion. After one year, the investments had risen to $13.6 billion.
The United States government assured the people that it will provide $350 million. The two former presidents, George H.W Bush and Bill Clinton, who were opponents in the 1992 presidential elections, teamed up and went on a nationwide campaign that resulted in a massive $7 million for the relief effort.
The funds were distributed to wide range of well recognized organizations such as the Red Cross. With 181 stations spanning the globe, the Red Cross swiftly mobilized soon after the tsunami struck. The first stage of of the relief effort, volunteers created a rescue group and searched for the missing. They also provided medical assistance, gave food and water, and built shelters for the homeless.
By the summer of 2005, the Red Cross had changed its priorities to focus on long term necessities such as medical needs and employment services.
Following the aftermath of the Tsunami, a group known as Habitat for Humanity began building houses for the homeless. They focused their relief on four different countries: Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, and Indonesia. These four countries were considered the most divesting due to their location being so close to the epicenter. The group was in the area by 2005 and in by year's end, they have built or recovered nearly 4000 houses.
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