Global Disaster Plan Needed By BECKY O'MALLEY Editorial

Tuesday December 28, 2004

News of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Asia has shocked and scared those of us who live with the knowledge that it could happen here. When 3,000 Americans died suddenly in the World Trade Center, it seemed like an unimaginable number of deaths, but in Southeast Asia 23,000 deaths had been counted by Monday morning, with more to come as information continues to trickle in from remoter regions. For many Berkeley residents who have come here as students and stayed to become citizens, the fate of friends and family members back home caused immediate anxiety. Others of us have made friends through our travels to these countries and are worried about them now. Former Berkeleyans have settled in the affected countries, too—a good friend now lives in Bangkok, but often goes to beach resorts for vacations, and we haven’t heard from him yet. We heard from another friend who was on an island off the coast of Thailand that she was safe because she was on the landward side of the island, and we didn’t even know she’d gone there for a vacation until she e-mailed that she was all right. -more-

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