23,500 people are now thought to be dead in the Asian Earthquake disaster. The Earthquake has been measured at something like 9.0 on the Richter scale.
Coincidentally, at exactly this time last year, we were digesting the news that there had been an Earthquake in Bam in Iran - both struck on 26th December. In Bam, the earthquake was measured at around 6.5 on the richter scale.
I cross-checked the definitions of eathquakes of this strength and found this (here the richter scale is cross-referenced with the modified Mercalli scale):
An earthquake at 6.5 on the Richter scale is described as: "disastrous: ground badly cracked and many buildings are destroyed. There are some landslides".
The final death-toll at Bam was thought to be something in excess of 40,000 people.
An earthquake at 9.0 on the Richter scale is: "Catastrophic: total destruction. Objects are thrown into the air. Much heaving, shaking and distortion of the ground".
This is one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded. I know it took place under the ocean and not in a populous area, but the Tsunami it created was devastating and over the next few days and weeks we are going to see the death-toll continue to rise.
Never mind the wars we insist on fighting, sometimes the everyday business of survival in the face of nature seems difficult enough.
There's not really much I can add to this, except that you can donate here.
18 hours ago