Sidr: Aftermath unfolding

Do you remember the Christmas Tsunami? I remember well that it was a good example of the public’s demand for knowing the death toll and the press’s demand to feed that need interacting with a crappy network of information flow, to the extent that the early death tolls counts were utterly absurd and the rate of climb of this estimate was astounding.

Will this be the case with Sidr?


A couple of hours ago the death toll was 200. Within the last half hour, there were counts of 450 and 500. Just now the numbers have topped 1000, to reach, in fact, 1,100 killed (thousands missing, displaced).

I hope that these numbers, gruesome as they are, do not end up being ridiculous ejaculations of a disaster-titillated, giddy press. But they might be.

By the way, the highlands upstream from most of Bangladesh are now being inundated by rain (and snow), so flooding is likely. I wonder if the Bangladeshi authorities will do the same thing the Bush Administration did with Katrina: Pretend that they are two unrelated events? I assume not, as they would have nothing to gain from it.

Some sources:

BBC

CNN Wire

The Intersection

Al Jazeera

Comments

  1. #1 Stephen
    November 16, 2007

    The media is indeed at its very worst when it comes to death tolls of accidents/disasters. Any thought of accuracy, or waiting for actual information, goes right out of the window. I distinctly remember that the first report I saw of the Kobe earthquake reported 2 fatalities.

    On the other hand, the day after the 747 crash in Amsterdam, our newspaper reported that there were certainly at least 100 dead. Not “probably”, or “about”, but “certainly”. The actual number was 43. (We have since changed newspapers.)

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