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This Happened

This Happened—December 26: The Mother Of All Tsunamis

In 2004, a 9.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, triggering a tsunami and series of tidal waves that became one of worst natural disasters in recorded history

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What triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami?

The initial earthquake is among the strongest ever recorded, estimated to have released energy equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. In Banda Aceh, closest to the earthquake's epicenter, tsunami waves hit over 100 feet.

What was the total toll of the Indian Ocean tsunami?

There were 1,117 people killed in the initial earthquake, but the tsunami it triggered caused severe damage and deaths as far as Africa, with the furthest recorded fatality directly attributed to the tsunami occurring close to Cape Town. An estimated 220,000 people died in total.

Approximately 135,448 homes were seriously damaged, along with 78,604 which sustained minor damage. It is one of the ten worst earthquakes in recorded history, as well as the single worst tsunami in history.

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Ideas

Making It Political Already? Why Turkey's Earthquake Is Not Just A Natural Disaster

The government in Ankara doesn't want to question the cause of the high death toll in the earthquake that struck along the Turkey-Syria border. But one Turkish writer says it's time to assign responsibility right now.

photo of Erdogan at the earthquake site

President Erdogan surveys the damage on Wednesday

Office of the Turkish Presidency
Dağhan Irak

-OpEd-

ISTANBUL — We have a saying in Turkey: “don’t make it political” and I am having a hard time finding the right words to describe how evil that mindset is. It's as if politics is isolated from society, somehow not connected to how we live and the consequences of choices taken.

Allow me to translate for you the “don’t make it political” saying's real meaning: “we don’t want to be held accountable, hands off.”

It means preventing the public from looking after their interests and preserving the superiority of a certain type of individual, group and social class.

In order to understand the extent of the worst disaster in more than 20 years, we need to look back at that disaster: the İzmit-Düzce earthquakes of 1999.

Because we have before us a regime that does not care about anything but its own interests; has no plan but to save itself in times of danger; does not believe such planning is even necessary (even as it may tinker with the concept in case there is something to gain from it); gets more mafioso as it grows more partisan — and more deadly as it gets more mafioso.

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