Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants On December - 29 - 2004   ShareThis




This was a post I started yesterday, but never actually finished. The death toll was at 44,000.

The recent earthquake and resulting chaos is mind-boggling. I mean, a tsunami? That’s the stuff that ancient myths are made of. I’m having a hard time imagining how large of a crowd 44,000 people is, and that’s the death toll so far. I did some googling to get an idea of how many people 44,000 is. It’s a hell of a lot. (search for 44,000 on these pages if you don’t see it right away)

It’s how many people showed up at a George W. Bush rally in Arizona
It’s how many people voted early in Georgia
It’s how many seats planned for the new Fenway Park stadium in Boston
It’s how many seats are in the new Comisky Park stadium in Chicago
It’s how many people went to see Bruce Springsteen in Finland
It’s how many NSync tickets went on sale in El Paso
It’s how many people die in highway accidents in a year
It’s how many people were expected to pass through Syndey’s airport on their way home from the Olympics
It’s how many people live in the city of San Luis Obispo, California
It’s how many people live in the city of Auburn, Alabama
It’s how many students there are in the Calgary Catholic School district
It’s how many students enrolled in Michigan State University
It’s how many students enrolled in Texas A&M
The death toll as of this morning is at 76,700 and I haven’t the heart to even try to fathom it. I want to say “How awful” or “It’s so tragic”, but words like awful and tragic don’t begin to describe the jaw-dropping magnitude. I think this is one of those times when only a visceral reaction accompanied by some indescribable noise from the back of your throat will suffice. It makes one acutely aware that in the end, despite borders and nations and ideologies, we’re all earthlings and live on this rock together. We see the same stars, the same moon, we breathe the same air, and are all subject to our planet’s shifting, shaping, rumbling, moving and changing. It’s downright humbling to know that we live on the Earth’s back on its terms.

Here is a list of organizations accepting monetary donations that I found on CNN’s website. Please do what you can to help your fellow earthlings.

6 Responses

  1. Colleen says:

    Great post! Now I hear that the death toll could surpass 100,000. Staggering.

  2. melanie says:

    I completely agree that words fail to do this justice. I tried to post about it as well, but found I could only talk about other things only indirectly related. *indescribable noise issues from throat*

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I don’t have a blogger account but I’m not anonymous, I’m jodi (

    I couldn’t blog about it. Instead I wrote about insignificant things, knitting. It’s all too fresh and painful right now.

  4. hockey mom says:

    It is very staggering. We’re fortunate to have come out of 911 with our company intact, so we donated to CARE today. Nothing will make us feel better….but we should still do something.

    Great post.

  5. Katy says:

    I feel the same way–completely overwhelmed & powerless. I am especially disoriented b/c of the post-Christmas advertising blitz surrounding all of us in this country, it’s just so incomprehensible to think of all of us spending our holiday cash on gadgets while hundreds of thousands of people are suffering so. (I know that hundreds of thousands are suffering all the time, but this particular tragedy is of such huge proportions). I can’t even watch the news, just listening to NPR makes me weep. It certainly is humbling.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely, amen. It is all too vivid for me to not imagine myself having been there, or what it would be like to be a survivor without my family. I nearly drowned many years ago, and I’m here thanks to CPR. The tsunami videos are extra-creepy for me, and I can’t fathom the lives to come for the survivors. It makes me all the more mindful of the blessing and the luck of my life in New England. It will be my first thought for the new year tonight.

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