I've heard from my brother, who is building a house in Phuket. He's fine, and his house is still there. Can't say the same for the waterfront, or the tourists that were going for a pleasant morning swim.

An old friend of mine is from Sri Lanka, and his wife is from India. I wasn't sure which parts of the countries their families are in, but was hoping for the best. I heard from him last night, and all of their family members are OK, in unaffected regions.

I simply can't imagine the sheer scale of this disaster. Individual photos and videos are scary enough. But when looked at from space, with an overall perspective, with the death toll officially over 70,000 82,000 122,000 155,000 (and unofficially 470,000) at the moment (and rising daily), I'm just stunned.

That's like 25 30-45 43-47 55-167 World Trade Center disasters. In one day. And rising as rescuers and officials make it into more remote areas.

UPDATE: While channel surfing, I passed by an interview with some joker who proclaimed "This disaster is second only to 9/11" - yeah. Second to that, except that it's now well over 50 times (in the range of two orders of magnitude!) bigger.

Second, because that joker didn't know any of the people killed/injured/devastated by the disaster. (neither do I, thank God - but that doesn't lessen the scope of the disaster)

I'm still trying to imagine the sheer scale of this (what proportion of Calgary would that be? (over 15%) How many U of C campuses? (over 5) ) and this guy so totally misses it.

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