Everytime I refresh my browser window, the death toll from the tsunami grows by a couple of thousand. The New York Times reports that at least a third of the dead are children. Even as we mourn, it is easy to detach ourselves from the reality of a number as large as 44,000. It is hard to imagine, and mourn individually, each life lost in such a short span of time. That this number could have been lower if detection systems had been in place for the impoverished countries affected by the tsunami, is shameful. As I mentioned in yesterday's comments section of Justin's blog on the tsunami, such warning systems have been made available for the U.S. Canada, Japan and even parts of South America. No such early warning systems existed for the countries and regions in the Indian Ocean, which sits atop a particularly volatile area of the sea floor.
It is a cruel irony that just about two months ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. won great merit from the U.S. Department of Commerce for a tsunami detection system is had devised. The detection system, according to the scientists involved in the project, could be developed and implemented for a cost of about $10 million.
So as nations and organizations from around the world rush money to the areas ravaged by Sunday's tsunami - I can't help but think of the $10 million that was needed months ago to prevent possibly thousands of the deaths that occurred on Sunday.
While information about the costs and history behind the implementation of detection systems is proving hard to handily come by, there is plenty of information about the costs and benefits of this grave natural disaster on business and industry...