|From: Sir Arthur C Clarke
Sent: Monday, December 27, 2004 12:17 AM
Subject: Aftermath of tidal wave
Thank you for your concern about my safety in the wake of
Sunday's devastating tidal wave.
I am enormously relieved that my family and household have
escaped the ravages of the sea that suddenly invaded most parts
of coastal Sri Lanka, leaving a trail of destruction.
But many others were not so fortunate. For hundreds of
thousands of Sri Lankans and an unknown number of foreign
tourists, the day after Christmas turned out to be a living
nightmare reminiscent of The Day After Tomorrow.
Among those affected are my staff based at our diving station in
Hikkaduwa and holiday bungalow in Kahawa - both beachfront
properties located in areas worst hit. We still don't know the
fully extent of damage as both roads and phones have been
damaged. Early reports indicate that we have lost most of our
diving equipment and boats. Not all our staff members are
accounted for - yet.
This is indeed a disaster of unprecedented magnitude for Sri
Lanka which lacks the resources and capacity to cope with the
aftermath. We are all trying to contribute to the relief efforts.
We shall keep you informed as we learn more about what happened.
Curiously enough, in my first book on Sri Lanka, I had
written about another tidal wave reaching the Galle harbour (see
Chapter 8 in The Reefs of Taprobane, 1957). That happened in
August 1883, following the eruption of Krakatoa in roughly the
same part of the Indian Ocean.
Arthur Clarke, 27 December 2004