Hard News by Russell Brown

Tsunami media

In approaching a disaster of such unfathomable magnitude as the present one, I guess it's natural to look for your own. There are, as far as I am aware, two published eyewitness accounts of the Asian tsunami by western journalists.

The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs, was taking his morning swim around a tiny Sri Lankan island near Galle when the water came. His account is compelling, but the story by the Sydney Morning Herald's Alexa Moses is of a different order altogether. It's a stunning piece of eyewitness reporting: restrained, personal and utterly wrenching.

Their accounts are available, of course, because they survived. Others weren't so lucky. Almost all of the 80 journalists at Aceh's only daily newspaper, Serambi Indonesia, are missing and feared dead.

There is already a huge Wikipedia page dedicated to the earthquake and tsunami, with scientific background and many news links. Digital Globe has a large satellite image of the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, taken four hours after the earthquake and shortly after the tsunami struck. There is also a dedicated blog.

Slashdot has a thread, concentrating largely on the science of the disaster, but also, regrettably, full of bickering over whether the US has been stingy and/or the world is ungrateful. Shut up. Another site has tsunami video but is apparently suffering heavy load. A Windows media video of the sea crashing through a restaurant in Phuket is here.

A Japanese site has an animated gif showing the spread of the waves across the Indian Ocean.

There is a torrent file available for a PowerPoint package of before-and-after satellite images which can also be downloaded here.

Jordan Golson has gathered other visual coverage, including video (Apple is getting tetchy about his Mac.com traffic) and the Guardian newsblog is updating new links as they come in, including to this blog by American tourist Evelyn Rodriguez.

In trivial news, Ricky Gervais has been lined up to write an episode of The Simpsons, and the new British Marmite ad, featuring a giant, menacing Blob, was filmed in New Zealand …