The Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004
Solomon Islands Tsunami 2007
Indonesian and South Pacific Tsunamis 2009-10
Dec 30th 2004
It seems a few things need to be made clear judging from some of the comments being given space in the press and broadcast media. The planet we live on has become increasingly less subject to violent, life-threatening events as time has passed. For human life to have arisen, the previous phases, including the violent events that brought about some dramatic changes in fauna and flora, were necessary. There is no guarantee that a further event that could wipe out all humanity could not occur. However it is clear that the frequency of certain events such as Earth Quakes has become progressively less with time until, in modern times, they are expected only in areas recognised as being at risk.

Nevertheless, it is absolutely impossible that Earth Quakes should cease to occur. They are part of the planetary process. No planet like Earth that could allow life to develop to the level we have reached can come into being without a process which ends up with continual adjustments. The earthquake near Sumatra was hardly unreasonable and, in view of the past lack of movement in that area where tectonic plates were joined, when it came it was likely to be large.

The one thing we do need to establish was why, in view of the fact that we have global broadcasting systems and hundreds of millions of mobile phone users, all of whom can receive broadcast text messages from service providers, nobody felt free to use their initiative to send out a warning. A shock of 9 on the Richter scale was bound to cause a huge tsunami and many people could have had between 1 and 9 hours to head for high ground.

It is more than absurd to have to have to read contributions from people who say they have become atheists because of the latest event, or those who are 'angry' because it occurred. There are people living on the slopes of volcanoes and the plains beneath, and in the USA many live around the San Andreas fault. It is a risk, just as is travelling to work each day. The tragic loss which many will have endured because of this particular event is part of the cost that we pay for the privileged position we occupy as the sensitive cutting edge of life as it realises the developing potential of universal existence.  It is a lesson that has to be learned, since all knowledge comes through experience. As for being an atheist, this usually applies to people whose idea of 'God' is so silly they are best off chucking it anyway.

It would appear that the lesson to be learned is that because such an event has not happened before in our lifetime or recent history, public authorities can be misled into thinking it is unlikely. This tsunami was not so much likely as inevitable. We had communications systems in place to allow many individuals to be alerted, to warn others and to escape from the places where they lost their lives. They were not used.

JAN 2nd 2005
I am still waiting for the BBC to reply to my email requesting the time and date when their services were alerted to the news of the Sumatran Earthquake, and by whom they were informed. Having been assured that my email has been read 2 days ago, I am disappointed that the time it has taken to answer this question. Meantime the most absurd explanation for the lack of action has surfaced, which I append here:

Lack of Info Stymied Tsunami Alert Wires
Friday, Dec. 31, 2004
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. weather agency didn't have the phone numbers nor staff to alert all Indian Ocean coastal countries when it saw the first signs that tsunamis could be heading their way, its top official said Thursday. He cautioned that the Caribbean and Atlantic also lack an early warning system.

God Almighty, there is no need for any early warning system. News of a Richter 9 earthquake that will probably cause a Tsunami should be passed to world broadcasting services. Anyone hearing that news should pass it on through any system they can use if it can reach people in the affected area. The last thing we need is to spend millions on creating and manning a system that will sit there unused 99% of the time and probably fail when needed.

JAN 4th 2005
The Prime Minister was quite right, when news of the tsunami reached him, to stay where he was and use his communications system. Getting involved in emergency travel arrangements was the last thing required. All he needed was communicartions, which he had. The obvious initial requirements for the UN and national governments were: (a) to locate all the helicopters and trained helicopter pilots that could be assembled, dispatched and safely controlled. Many of these would be military. To get them to the areas where they would be needed would take a lot of diplomatic work, and to have them operate there in reasonable safety would take a lot of organisation and logistics and equipment. All the rest, which the media started to bleat about, was of varying difficulty but not the immediate problem as it was all solvable. Money was NOT the problem. To what extent the UN or any particular government grasped this reality and acted on adequately it I have no idea, as the media, as usual, did not understand what had happened or what was required. It was certain from day one that the minimum deaths would be.

I have now been told by the BBC that:

The BBC reported the earthquake at 2.30am but
the relevant authorities had not made the tsunami warnings public. If they
had done so, the BBC would of course have reported it.

The quake occurred a 1am. My enquiries continue.

APRIL 01 2007  
The time of issue and the extent of warnings of this 8.0 undersea earthquake are not related in the BBC news item below, which was published 6 hours after the undersea earthquake struck. It struck 345 km distant from the Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, but only 45 km from Gizo in the New Georgia Islands.
The speed of a tsunami wave depends on water depth.
(The wave speed is the square root of the product of the
gravity constant (g) and water depth.)
If an earthquake on the sea bottom occurred offshore at a depth of 1000 m, the speed of a tsunami is about 360 km/h. A tsunami is a very long wave of the order of kilometres that often remain undetected offshore. However, when a tsunami reaches shallow water, the speed decreases. At a water depth of 10 m, its speed is about 35 km/h. According to the report the quake was 10 times deeper than that so the tsunami could have started off at about 1, 000 km/hr. If average was 450km hr it would have taken only 6 minutes to reach Gizo. The structure of the region meant that other parts of the Solomons and other landmasses were little affected, the energy being dissipated.

Tsunami strikes Solomon Islands
A tsunami has swept ashore in the Solomon Islands following a strong undersea earthquake in the South Pacific Ocean.

Waves said to be several metres high crashed into some of the western islands severely damaging at least two villages. Several people were missing.

Tsunami warnings were also issued for Papua New Guinea, north-east Australia, and some other Pacific islands.

The quake measured 8.0 and hit at 0740 local time on Monday (2040 GMT Sunday).

It struck 345km (215 miles) north-west of the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, north-east of Australia, the US Geological Survey said, at a depth of 10km (six miles) below the surface.

Sergeant Godfrey Abiah of the Solomons police force said the waves had hit the town of Gizo, in the New Georgia Islands region in the west of the Solomons, which was only 45km (25 miles) from the epicentre of the quake.

There was 10ft of water rushing through town
Harry Wickham
Hotel worker, Gizo

He said police in Gizo had been urging people to leave coastal areas when the tsunami hit, but communications were lost soon afterwards.

"We have lost radio contact with the two police stations down there and we're not getting any clear picture," he told The Associated Press.

Julian McLeod, a Solomon Islands disaster management official, said: "Two villages were reported to have been completely inundated.

"We have received reports of four people missing."

Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that at least three people had been killed.


Harry Wickham, a hotel worker in Gizo, told New Zealand television by phone that many buildings along the water front had been damaged.

"There was 10ft of water rushing through town," he said.

Britain's deputy high commissioner in Honiara told the BBC that four people were missing from Mono Island. He said all the residents of Taro Island had been evacuated.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a much smaller wave, of 15cm (6in) had been reported in Honiara.

The centre initially issued a warning for all countries in the South Pacific region.

Later it was downscaled, but authorities in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, north-eastern Australia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Fiji were being advised to stay on alert.

Officials in Australia said the coast of New South Wales could face dangerous waves and flooding in the coming hours.

Several beaches in Sydney have been closed as a precaution.

Experts in Japan and Hawaii were also monitoring the situation.

Are you in the affected area? If you have witnessed the tsunami and are able to send us any accounts or photos, please do so using the form below.
[Form not shwn here]

You can send your pictures to or text them to 07725 100 100

SEPTEMBER 30th 2009
Here we go again

OCTOBER 26th 2010

This earthquake of 7.7 2 days ago in Indonesia caused a Tsunami and up to 500 deaths