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Old 12-27-2004, 08:07 AM   #1
Cathy
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I sure hope Maheen, our new visually impaired member and young Lightfoot fan, is safe as I type this. He is in Sri Lanka visiting family. Over the weekend, several islands and nations in the region got hit by a 30+ foot Tusami wave, caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. As of right now, the death toll is over 16,000, with over 4800 dead or missing in Sri Lanka alone.
The island of Sri Lanka has never been hit by a natural disaster in it's recent history, causing disaster relief in the area to be scarce and poorly organized.
Here's to hoping that Maheen and his family are on high ground, in a safe dry place, and that they all survived this without any casualities.

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Old 12-27-2004, 08:48 AM   #2
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Here's an article on the Sri Lanka disaster. It's not looking good. The death toll is rising by the hour.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...nt_2386414.htm

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Old 12-27-2004, 09:20 AM   #3
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I guess it depends which side of Sri Lanka Maheen was staying on. The tidal wave hit the east coast. There was a brief article on CNN that Oprah's frequent guest, Nate Berkus (the design guy) was vacationing there with a friend - he survived but his friend was washed away with the second wave as they clung to a telephone pole and is missing.

Anyway we can't expect to hear from Maheen for a while if he's still with us because of the chaos, downed power lines, etc. Horrendous.

The loss of life might have been minimized if they'd had early warning monitors out at sea, as some nations do. An international, Pacific-wide network of earthquake-sensitive seismographs, sea-level monitors and satellites produces tsunami alerts for member nations - but sometimes these things move so fast that even with warning, officials can't clear the areas in time. And there are always gawkers who get literally caught up.

Keeping my fingers crossed for Maheen and his family....

PS I tried emailing Maheen, in the faint, if unlikely, hope that he had email access in Sri Lanka but it was returned with the message "The user(s) account is temporarily over quota."

I guess a lot of folks are trying to contact Maheen. If I hear, I'll let everybody know.


[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited December 27, 2004).]
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:17 AM   #4
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quote:Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
I guess it depends which side of Sri Lanka Maheen was staying on. The tidal wave hit the east coast. There was a brief article on CNN that Oprah's frequent guest, Nate Berkus (the design guy) was vacationing there with a friend - he survived but his friend was washed away with the second wave as they clung to a telephone pole and is missing.

Anyway we can't expect to hear from Maheen for a while if he's still with us because of the chaos, downed power lines, etc. Horrendous.

The loss of life might have been minimized if they'd had early warning monitors out at sea, as some nations do. An international, Pacific-wide network of earthquake-sensitive seismographs, sea-level monitors and satellites produces tsunami alerts for member nations - but sometimes these things move so fast that even with warning, officials can't clear the areas in time. And there are always gawkers who get literally caught up.

Keeping my fingers crossed for Maheen and his family....

PS I tried emailing Maheen, in the faint, if unlikely, hope that he had email access in Sri Lanka but it was returned with the message "The user(s) account is temporarily over quota."

I guess a lot of folks are trying to contact Maheen. If I hear, I'll let everybody know.


[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited December 27, 2004).]


I spoke to Maheen before he left. He didn't take his cell phone or his laptop. Cell phone coverage and Internet connection is very poor.

I can't seem to get the kid off my mind. I'm at work, and I'm absolutely useless. My train of thought has been derailed.

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Old 12-27-2004, 11:36 AM   #5
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Cathy, he didn't say where exactly in Sri Lanka he was going, did he? If I knew a city or town I could at least see which part of the country he's in.
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Old 12-27-2004, 01:45 PM   #6
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quote:Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
Cathy, he didn't say where exactly in Sri Lanka he was going, did he? If I knew a city or town I could at least see which part of the country he's in.

I don't recall him mentioning a specific town. I'll check his e-mails when I get home.

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Old 12-28-2004, 01:11 PM   #7
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Annie, look in this article.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=365697

About 3/4s of the way down, it says:

"This was the worst day in our history," said Sri Lankan Y.P. Wickramsinghe, picking through the rubble of his sea-front dive shop in the port city of Galle, strewn with the wreckage of buses and toppled buildings.

"I wish I had died. There is no point in living."

Wickramsinghe is Maheen's last name. I wonder if it is one of his relatives and if Galle was Maheen's destination. Galle got hit hard. Boy, I hope the kid is okay.

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Old 12-28-2004, 02:47 PM   #8
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Believe it or not Wickramasinghe seems to be a fairly common Sri Lankan name - you can find whole geneaologies on it (also the variant Wickremesinghe). Not exactly Smith/Smythe but common enough to make it difficult to track Maheen down. Communications are wiped out throughout much of Sri Lanka so it may be a long time before we hear from him again. Maybe there'll be something in local newspapers (in Canada) on the lost and found. I keep trying the email but I expect his box his full with worried friends and family trying to make contact, too.
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:14 AM   #9
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My prayers are also with Maheen and his family, I hope they are all OK.

We have a very large Sri Lankan, community here in Melbourne, and understandably they have been greatly effected by the recent events, as have the local people because so many Australians spend their summer Holidays, in the islands off Thailand and the Maldives.

As Cathy and Annie have said the area around the port City of Galle in Sri Lanka has been one of the areas worst effected by the Tidal Waves ( Tusami )which travelled at speeds exceeding 500 kilometers per hour ( 360 MPH ) following an underwater earthquake which measured 9.0 on the richter scale.

Lets hope we hear from Maheen soon !!!.
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Old 12-29-2004, 01:11 PM   #10
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There is a sophisticated seabed early warning system in the Pacific Ocean. Hopefully this sad and tragic incident may prompt the powers that be to strive to set up a similar system in the Indian Ocean. Of course it could not prevent the earthquake, but it would give the opportunity of evacuating the coastal areas that could be effected.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:24 PM   #11
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I am happy to report that Maheen is OK!! His cousin saw an appeal that was posted on CNN looking for Maheen, and emailed another friend of Maheen's to let him know the good news! I am waiting for Maheen's cousin to reply to my email requesting the phone number where I can reach him (Maheen) in Sri Lanka. I have to hear for myself that he's ok!
I will post an update after I speak with him.


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Old 12-30-2004, 09:39 PM   #12
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Thank you, Marcie. We will wait to hear from you.
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Old 12-30-2004, 10:00 PM   #13
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quote:Originally posted by Marcie:
I am happy to report that Maheen is OK!! His cousin saw an appeal that was posted on CNN looking for Maheen, and emailed another friend of Maheen's to let him know the good news! I am waiting for Maheen's cousin to reply to my email requesting the phone number where I can reach him (Maheen) in Sri Lanka. I have to hear for myself that he's ok!
I will post an update after I speak with him.


Marcie


Oh, that is great news! Thank you so much for letting us know, and when you call him, tell him his Lighthead friends are thinking of him!

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Old 12-31-2004, 08:51 AM   #14
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that's good news! It must be a very traumatic time for all of those people in that part of the world-what a tragedy. It's really beyond my comprehension, even with images and first person accounts etc. It's just so sad.
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Old 12-31-2004, 09:15 AM   #15
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YES! Hurrah and a happy start to a new year. So glad to hear it, so sad that so many others can't share the same happiness.
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Old 12-31-2004, 03:20 PM   #16
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quote:Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
YES! Hurrah and a happy start to a new year. So glad to hear it, so sad that so many others can't share the same happiness.

I just got an e-mail from Maheen's friend. Maheen is fine. No injuries or damage to his relatives' property. He will be back in Canada on January 4th, as planned.

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Old 12-31-2004, 08:00 PM   #17
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Thank you Cathy (and everyone else). What wonderful words to hear amid such a tragedy.

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Old 01-02-2005, 03:02 PM   #18
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quote:Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
YES! Hurrah and a happy start to a new year. So glad to hear it, so sad that so many others can't share the same happiness.
Yes! a resounding second to that!!! Still it is so sad to think of all who are lost and that have family members missing. Such a huge catastrophe, it's almost beyond comprehension!!

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Old 01-09-2005, 02:08 PM   #19
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quote:Originally posted by Cathy:
I just got an e-mail from Maheen's friend. Maheen is fine. No injuries or damage to his relatives' property. He will be back in Canada on January 4th, as planned.

Cathy http://www.cathycowette.com



i didn't take the time to respond (well, i was also carrying a snowsuited Harry under one arm and surfing with the other, lol) but i had dialed in from a out of town library last week for an eagerly awaited upate and saw your most-appreciated post, a wonderful lift which straightened up my droop shoulders for a bit
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