Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Change of Mood

When calling Stefan on midnight New Year's eve, his tone of voice and the fact that he almost immediately started talking about the disaster made me realize what a large impact this has had on people back home. He is working as a journalist for the Swedish public radio and had been calling relatives to victims of the disaster. Reading the Swedish news leaves you with a different impression than the other international news. It gives you a very Swedish angle on it. The focus is on the Swedish victims on the beaches in Thailand. The geographical distance to the disaster is not important, it's of course the emotional distance that the readers and viewers have to what has happened. In this case a large part of the population knows someone that has been affected, and a very large part of the population has visit these beaches, including myself.

I can't really say that I'm very affected, being away from much of TV and not reading tabloids, and only the foreigners that I meet here bring it up in conversations. I'm not aware of anyone close to me that has been involved in the disaster and I feel very grateful for that.

More than 9,000 foreign tourists, mostly Europeans, were still missing nine days after the Indian Ocean tsunami hit coasts and devastated beach resorts.
The Guardian 4 Jan

Sweden, the European country hit hardest by the disaster, has warned that its death toll could rise to 1,000. So far, the government has confirmed 52 deaths, with a further 827 people missing. It said it had no information about 1,495 others believed to have been on holiday in the region.

The death toll from the Indian Ocean tsunami is set to rise "exponentially" above current estimates of 150,000 as relief workers reach remote villages and survivors succumb to disease, UN officials warned today.
The Guardian 4 Jan

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