Monday, December 27, 2004

What happened in Penang?

It's not uncommon to hear of quakes occuring in Indonesia and the aftershock felt to the extent of Malaysia due to it's close proximity. Many have experienced tremors and slight vibrations in Kl and Penang ever time such an occurence is found in Sumatera. It is lucky that Malaysia is situated away from most major disaster areas such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, typhoons, whirlwinds, tornadoes and cyclones but yet we're still in the midst of what we call the ring of fire, the Pacific belt of fault zones demarking the continental plate that stretches all across Indonesia, the Philippines and China.

It was a shock to hear about the 8.5 earthquake recently in Sumatera and even more, about the death toll that many region has experienced, even in Penang. Slight tremors maybe, but a full scale earthquake so near to home and the resulting tsunami caught many of us unguarded and unaware. To the 53 dead, condolences from all those in Malaysia. The tragedy made worst as it occured right after Christmas is another blow dealt to the families. I was away with Christmas preparations and thus didn't hear about the news until late Sunday and already people are picking up the pieces of their lives. I frantically tried to find out if people I know living in Penang are allright and am glad that so far most are fine.

The Malaysian blogsphere has risen to the occasion and has given up to date news on what is happening in Penang while the local papers are away on the Christmas break and certainly I would be in the dark even more if the official channels were relied on. This really proves how much blogs have evolved as just a medium of expression to one of a more mature calibre, relating personal accounts of events as they unfold, providing a medium for information besides the local sources and allowing people from all around Malaysia to see the larger picture as told by each individual. There is nothing now but to pick up our lives and carry on, the clean up has begun and businesses are starting operations as usual. Those that have lost loved ones too must pick up their own lives and continue on and hopefully I pray that everyone that has been affected by the event will be strong.

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