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  The Asian Tsunami Disaster

A tsunami caused by an under-sea earthquake hit the countries around the Indian Ocean and beyond on 26th December 2004

Send us your writing about this event.

Have you raised money? | Do you know people who were there? |
Are you wondering why it happened? | Any messages or comments? | Poems or stories?

Asian Tsunami

By Jack, 14, York, UK

What happened?

On the 26th of December 2004 there was a massive earthquake that took place under the Indian ocean. This triggered a series of tsunamis killing more than 225,000 people in eleven countries. The earthquake reached in between 9.1 and 9.3, the second biggest one ever recorded on a seismograph.

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By Rachel, 11, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire, England

A gigantic wave
Bursting towards you.
A mighty crash,
The sea of blue.

The loud cries,
Children screaming.
All alone,
No time for dreaming.

Floating bodies,
Blood and gore.
Crumbling houses,
A mighty roar.

A terrible life,
For those around us.
The wave retreats
And then there's hush.

An earthquake,
In the middle of the vast sea.
A life changing disruption,
The Tsunami.
(June 2006)

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By Aditi, 11, Bangalore, India

Oh Tsunami, I hate you, I hate you,
When you strike, you never give us a clue.
Your appetite is very big and bad,
It makes us all sorry, dead or sad.
Those who went for a nice vacation on the beach,
Were all in your evil and powerful reach.
Oh Tsunami, how can you not even care,
For all the children who perished there.
Even those who were away safe and sound,
Their minds were troubled and sorrow bound.
So, precautions are what we shall take,
And predicting systems are what we shall make.
Next time Tsunami, you will be surprised to see our absence,
As we will have already sensed your presence.
(Spring 2006)

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Tsunami dream

By Rally, 13, London, UK

I thought I heard a ghost one day,
Telling me to move away,
I shook my head with great dismay,
Ghosts dont exist, no way, no way,
I thought I was going insane,
Then I heard the voice again,
It said that I must run away,
And then the voice told me the way,
Cross the sea by the twenty sixth,
The killer sea is not a myth,
My mother then entered the room,
She said my face was full of gloom,
I told my mum what I had heard ,
She said I was being absurd,
I stayed up worrying all night,
Every sound gave me a fright,
But then it was christmas day,
The tsunami hit the very next day.
(June 2006)

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The Power of Humanity

By Thrishana, 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I woke up on the day after Christmas, the 26th of December. I got out of bed and having washed my face, I made my way down to have breakfast with my family. The dogs were barking, children were playing outside our gate, the birds were chirping, my mother was shouting at my brother to get ready….it was just another ordinary day in Peliyagoda….. Or so it seemed.

A few hundred miles down the road an extraordinary event was unfolding, there too families woke up and were having breakfast around the table, there too mothers were asking their children to get ready, there too the dogs were barking, the children were running onto the beach to play, picking shells and even playing cricket. But a boom a thunderous boom broke the peaceful morning….it came rushing, churning, swirling, smashing, destroying, emptying, hurling everything in its path……in a sweeping murderous instant a 20-foot tsunami had broken the heart of Sri Lanka.

It was devastating, soul destroying bringing tears to a father who held his dead son gently, his tears flowing down the child's body, a river of grief….his wail echoed around the world in the homes of London, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne, New Delhi, Moscow, Cape Town and Bejing.

Parts of the south and east coast were decimated, there was blood and carnage everywhere, bodies were flung from trains, hotels and ordinary homes. The wave swept over Sri Lanka and then receded with the dead and the dying.

It was a catastrophe; the world's worst natural disaster had struck Sri Lanka after a massive earthquake in the sea near Indonesia, registering 9 on the Richter scale. It registered an even greater depth of sadness and heartbreak in Sri Lanka - whole communities were wiped out and it brought death and destruction.

Sri Lanka dominated the world's headlines as people woke up on Boxing Day to view the devastation on their television screens.

The image of a loving father grieving from the depths of his soul, grieving for his son who appeared only to be asleep shook the world - it broke the hearts of many from Stratford in East London to downtown Tokyo.

The scenes from our country galvanised people into action…bloggers sent message screaming down the internet, an SOS was sent across the globe…..the tears of Sri Lanka brought tears to humanity, it provoked compassion as Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales said when he visited the London Buddhist Vihara in Chiswick, Great Britain and met Mahanayake Ven Vajiranana and the many volunteers from the Sri Lankan Community.

This spirit of compassion brought forth extraordinary tales - waiters fully knowing their families had perished went out to save the lives of tourists, a child who had learnt about the tsunami in her classroom fore warned her family and took them to safety, a mother smashed the window of the bathroom in her hotel and pushed her daughter out before the murderous waters took her life, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka saving the life of his political opponent and that of his family who were stranded on a rooftop, churches giving shelter to Buddhist and Hindus, temples giving shelter to Christians. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga appealed for humanitarian assistance.

The tidal wave shattered Sri Lanka but it could not break the power of humanity. It was human kindness and compassion that reached out to the people of our land - and out pouring of love, of generosity that overwhelmed our nation…… Children sold their Christmas presents in the UK to raise funds for the tsunami victims in the Asia-Pacific, the dollars, the yen, the pounds, the rupees flowed in of every currency from virtually every land.

People are giving, without a thought for themselves as they see the devastation day in day out on their television screens, reality television at its worst and yet out of this disaster comes hope, hope in the form of human compassion and kindness.

They come from all parts of the world to re-build our land. To re-build schools and whole communities washed away by the giant wave.

It is the strength of humanity. Disasters bind us together with chords that cannot be broken. Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Americans, Britons, Swedes, Australians, Germans, French, Nigerians, Arabs, Singaporeans among the multi-national, multi-coloured kaleidoscope of humanity all working together to help Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a cricket loving nation and what a wonderful sight it was to see the world's cricketers spurred on by Shane Warne who stood side by side with Muttiah Muralitharan to reach out to our country in a one day match in Melbourne, Australia.

Our cricket team have also launched an appeal.

They say it will taken 10 years and billions of dollars. But more than the colour of money it is the colour of humanity, the same blood that runs through the veins of humanity has reached out to help the distressed and the dying in Sri Lanka. It was an act of love. An act of compassion. An act of humanity.

Albert Einstein said: 'A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.'

This tsunami has freed people from self and they have opened their hearts, their minds and their wallets embracing the needy not only in Sri Lanka but in Indonesia, in Thailand, in the Maldives, in South India.

The great Martin Luther King said:' An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.'

This disaster has been a fine example of the people of the world going beyond the narrow concerns of themselves and embracing humanity in South East Asia.

We are surrounded by teams helping our fellowmen from all four corners of the earth - this has never ever happened in Sri Lanka and we have never ever had such a disaster such as a devastating tsunami. But we can drink from the cup of human kindness, we can gain strength from that solidarity and support, just as a child who has fallen raises her hands to seek help to stand on her own two feet, the world has come to our aid and has extended hands of friendship, love and support.

The ties of humanity will help us to get through this ordeal, we will one day stand up on our own two feet again, and we will rise like the proverbial phoenix. We will say thank you to human beings of all nationalities, creed and colour who came to our aid who responded to the call of Mother Lanka in her hour of need.

Ten years down the line there will be a new, vibrant, positive, compassionate Sri Lanka - and we pray that it will be a vision of Sri Lanka at peace with herself and her fellowmen.

We will draw strength from those simple acts of humanity that helped us, extending hands of friendship and support when we fell as the water rushed at us and threatened to flow over our souls. We will never forget.
(July 2005)

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No thanks

By Anasua, 15, West Bengal, India

The tides come and pound at them
The waves strip them clean of all protection
and fling it to the hungry ocean.
They smile in forgiving retrospection
they grin in contented anticipation
And come to life on moonlit nights to frolic on the shore.
granite-hard rocks
made of stone.

they flourish in shangri-la
but they do smile in Iraq, and in Phuket.
some cry.(but some tears are tears of joy)
soldiers in kargil can tell jokes, too.
laugh with them. don't cry for them.
water erodes away the stoutest rocks.
(May 2005)

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There came a wave...

By Lily, 12, Botwnnog, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

There came a wave like a great hand,
Grabbing everything on the land,
Its fingers of foam, circling round,
Uprooting trees, raising homes to the ground,
It aimed its fist at everything in sight,
Nothing could survive this dreadful might,
People ran in and out in time with the tide,
Nowhere to go and nowhere to hide,
The hand was born in the belly of the ocean,
Fed by plates creating the potion,
It grew in fury, it grew in power,
The anger to be unleashed within the hour,
No one new what was on the way,
People were working, children at play,
A shriek of surprise as somebody saw,
A huge wall of white horses galloping ashore,
The beasts dissolved under the heat,
Sweeping hundreds of thousands off their feet,
There was crashing and crunching and tearing apart,
Seeping its way into everyone’s heart,
Lives were lost, bodies found,
Brutally killed by a hungry hound,
When the punch came with the force of an army,
The few that survived understood the meaning of ‘Tsunami’
(March 2005)

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Please know mum and dad

By Asia, 11, Manchester, UK

It was a normal day as usual,
Up and off to Sunday school.
Didn’t want to, but my parents made me go?
I shouted at them then ran off.

On my way I thought about saying sorry,
But when I got back they were gone.
So I said I’ll say it later when they're back,
Well did I get the chance to say sorry?

When Sunday school was over,
I was on my way home.
Every one was shouting and screaming,
A man came and took me to safety.

I was so scared I had to sit with other kids and babies,
I could see the squelchy damp mud on the floor.
Blood and dead bodies every where,
Then alligators escaped with rats finishing off the bodies.

When I thought of my parents,
I started shouting but no one listened.
When the wave had gone back,
Peoples where looking for survivors.

In the evenings an old man came to me,
He explained that my parents where killed.
And that I had to fly to London to a boarding school,
I cried all day and night but it didn’t matter they where gone.

And for the last time hear laughing in my land,
I just wish my parents know I’m so sorry.
But the worst thing is I didn’t get to say sorry,
Does that answer your question?
(March 2005)

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tidal wave! :(

By Alicia, 11, Conwy, Wales

This wave ruined lots + lots of people's lives, it orphaned kids, murdered people and killed people on holiday. This apart from Sept 11th is one of the most shocking real life stories I've ever heard. An appeal took place in my school Ysgol Aberconwy and we raised over £2,500. (February 2005)

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Killer Wave

By Jessica, 12, Wangi Wangi, NSW, Australia

It wrecked every thing
except a chapel or two
it was horrible
those poor kids
those poor adults
what can they posible do?
There crops will not grow back
because they are full of salt!
They are homeless
gee what can we do?
I know!
Sponsor and help a person afected by the terrible waves of the tsunami today help them live again!!!
(January 2005)

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By Kamal, 10, Bradford, UK

human killer
boat crusher
deeper than a swimming pool
wider than a beach
if it get's angry it will execute you
(January 2005)

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By Rachel, 14, USA

This piece is what a little girl who is a tsunami victim left without her parents and home might be praying:

Oh dear Lord, what happened to us?
We were such a grand family.
I want them back and nobody else,
oh dear Lord, can't you see?

We were eating lunch so peacefully,
when all out of the blue,
a wave came crashing down,
things went all askew.

My Mommy died, my Daddy died,
I'm left without a home.
I'm sad and crying here in bed,
and now I'm all alone.

I took my family for granted,
I never fully appreciated my home,
but now that it's all gone,
I have no place to call my own.

Every teardrop is a signal,
that I have no one to run to,
Oh dear God above,
all I have is You.

Send me a sign, a message,
show me the way to go.
Someday I know this all will pass,
and again your love shall show.
(January 2005)

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©2003-2011 Kids on the Net and the authors        Last revised 09-Jul-2011
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