In Indonesia, the government is building temporary housing for 100,000 survivors, along with mosques, schools and medical facilities, as survivors started leaving the camps. Some of the homes could be ready soon, enabling more survivors to move out of their tents. The government and separatist rebels are trying to turn the disaster into a chance for peace.
In Sri Lanka, Norway's foreign minister met separately with the country's prime minister and a Tamil rebel leader to help resolve a dispute over aid distribution in the island nation, where the tsunami killed about 31,000 people and displaced another 1 million. Tamil rebels have repeatedly accused the government of obstructing aid deliveries to rebel-controlled areas in Sri Lanka's north and east allegations the government denies.
In India, life has almost returned to normalcy, with more and more survivors moving in with relatives.
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Biggest / Worst Natural Disasters
HIGHEST DEATH TOLL FROM A FLOOD
An estimated 900,000 people were killed when the Huang He (Yellow River), Huayan Kou, China, burst its banks in October 1887.
HIGHEST DEATH TOLL FROM A TSUNAMI
Following an earthquake off the coast of Sanriku, Japan, in 1896, approximately 27,000 people were drowned when a tsunami hit the coast.
HIGHEST DEATH TOLL FROM A VOLCANIC ERUPTION
When the Tambora volcano in Sumbawa, Indonesia (then the Dutch East Indies) erupted from April 5-10, 1815, 92,000 people were killed.
HIGHEST DEATH TOLL FROM AN EARTHQUAKE
An earthquake that struck the Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Henan Provinces of China on February 2, 1556, is believed to have killed approximately 830,000.
HIGHEST EARTHQUAKE DEATH TOLL OF MODERN TIMES
The highest earthquake death toll in modern times was caused by one that hit Tangshan, China, on July 28, 1976. The official figure of 655,237 deaths
125,000 and counting..
First snow falls in the UAE : Dec 28, 2004
Not yet considered a skiing holiday destination, the UAE saw its first snow in living memory yesterday in the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah. Temperatures fell below zero at night and left a 1km stretch of mountains dusted with snow. Local residents thought the phenomenon must be linked to the recent tidal waves in Asia.
Thaw sees grass take hold in Antarctica: Dec 18, 2004
GRASS has become established in Antarctica, showing the continent is warming to temperatures unseen for 10,000 years. Scientists have reported that broad areas of grass are now forming turf where there were once ice-sheets and glaciers. Tufts have previously grown on patches of Antarctica in summer, but the scientists have now observed larger areas surviving winter and spreading in the summer months. Some fear the change portends a much wider melting of the ice-cap that formed at least 20 million years ago.
Colored rain in Kerala: July 18, 2001
Scientists in the southern Indian state of Kerala have begun examining an unusual phenomenon: coloured rainfall in some parts of the state. Its southern and central districts have witnessed spells of coloured rain over the past week, prompting researchers to launch a formal investigation. BBC
One possible theory: ....while these extreme hyperthermophiles contain proteins, our study shows the absence of DNA in these organisms, indicating a new primitive domain of life with alternate thermostable genetics. This new biology proves our earlier hypothesis that these microbes are of extraterrestrial origin and also supports our earlier argument that the mysterious red rain of Kerala is due to the cometary delivery of the red spores into the stratosphere above Kerala... sciscoop.com