Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Again, a tragedy unfolds slowly

It takes time to learn the details after a tragedy, whether a single
home burning, a multi-vehicle traffic accident or a natural disaster.
Extra time is needed when the tragedy occurs half-way around the
world, this time in Myanmar — a southeast Asian nation also known as
Burma — where a cyclone appears to have claimed more than 10,000 lives.
Early reports put the death toll — the key statistic for
comprehending and categorizing major calamities — at about 350. By
this morning, it was at about 3,000, but this was sure to go up as
another 2,000 to 3,000 were still missing.
By mid-afternoon in Michigan, government officials in Myanmar warned
it could exceed 10,000.
Remember the numbers of dead climbing slowly after the tsunami in
2004, a Christmas-time event that killed around 230,000 in a dozen
nations around the Indian Ocean?
It took a day or so then for the full damage to be grasped by world,
and part of the shock was that so many people could die and word of
what had happened could come out so slowly.
In the first days, the officials counts were at 13,000 and then
22,000, according to stories from The Associated Press. While it was
known that thousands were still missing, the full scope was not yet
known here.
Myanmar has been in the news here in the U.S. recently, as Buddhist
monks led protests of the government, resulting in a crackdown and a
flood of coverage in the United States.
It will be interesting to see how the government, long resistant to
outside influences, handles this tragedy. So far, it is good to see
that they have requested assistance from the international community.
Let's the hope the news does not worsen as the coming days pass and
the situation is better assessed.


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