Thursday, May 15, 2008

Map of the Week 125-Asian Disasters

It's been tough finding good maps of the earthquake area in China. The BBC wins out again with this map although the scale is a bit too zoomed in to get a good sense of the surrounding areas. You do get a sense of how close Chengdu, a city of about 4 million people, is to the epicenter and how severe the quake was there. You can click on the affected cities and get more information - or just scroll down on the same page.

One of the more tragic aspects of the China quake is how it has made many of us forget about the cyclone in Myanmar-Burma (Whatever you prefer to call it) where another city of 4 million Yangon-Rangoon (Whatever you prefer to call it) has been hit.
This is a set of before and after satellite images of Cyclone Nargis from the NASA Earth Observatory. The after image shows the extent of flooding as of May 5th using a combination of color and infrared light to clarify the floodwaters.
Anyway be thankful if you're not in one of these places and hopefully we'll all donate a little to help these people-it could be any of us next time.


Michael5000 said...

Those Irriwady Delta pictures are amazing. I didn't really have a sense of the scale of the disaster until I saw those on Monday.

Michael5000 said...

And, incidently -- I had wondered whether the "international community" was using the typhoon crisis as an excuse to bag on the Burmese junta, in the way that sometimes happens when the big countries have had enough and decided that the government of a little country has to go. So I asked a Burmese friend with family in Rangoon for the inside scoop.

The word I got is that the Burmese government response is not only anaemic on the ground, but actively obstructionist of any rescue efforts organized by civilians. They don't want shelters provided, for instance, the logic being that that would mean large gatherings of people who might share negative feelings about the government with each other. It's all very spooky and malign.