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Quakes and such

All Icelanders that were previously unaccounted for in south Asia have now been confirmed safe and sound. Relief is mixed with the terrible awareness of all who were not so fortunate. After all, when it comes to something like this, nationalities really do not matter much. We’re all part of the Big Human Family, especially when one thinks of all those poor lost and/or orphaned children, the thought of which is almost unbearable.

And yet, there is something very comforting about living in a small society like this one, where a collective effort is set in motion to find any lost member of the tribe. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs worked relentelessly to track down missing Icelanders, including monitoring their credit card transactions. In fact, the person who was finally contacted yesterday had been presumed alive and well several days ago, as it was revealed that he/she had used his/her credit card, with pin number.

Meanwhile, saw a heart-wrenching report on Sky a few days ago where a British woman had flown in to Phuket to search for her daughter’s body because, “If I hadn’t come, nobody would have ever looked for her”. Which is just too tragic for words.

SHAKES AND QUAKES

Are now happening on magical Grímsey island, the northernmost point of Iceland and the only part that actually touches the Arctic circle. On Wednesday afternoon there were two substantial quakes (4-5 on the Richter scale) in the sea floor just off the island and yesterday there were a further four of a similar strength. In between there are lots of tremors.

Thoughts inevitably turn to the tsunami disaster, and yet we are assured that the sort of quake that took place there cannot happen here, despite the ubiquitous volcanic activity in our general region. The earth’s crust is reportedly too thin up here, so when earthquakes take place it simply cracks, rather than shift like it did in the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…

Our New Years’ mayhem has gone global via Kief’ Sutherland, who has begun to voice his impressions of the year-end madness. E-zine Contactmusic claims he was ‘stunned by Iceland’s chaotic pyrotechnics’ and quotes him as saying ‘I saw the most extraordinary fireworks display in my life’. Excellent. Just what we like to hear. Particularly the Iceland Tourist Board, which is sure to be factoring this free publicity into next year’s budget.

Read the full report (such as it is) here.

AND OF COURSE THE WEATHER

Is pretty much the same as yesterday – cool, crisp, clear and lovely. Went out for a seaside run and wow, did it feel great! First decent day for running in a while, what with absence of wind and reasonable temps. On the downside, lack of wind means there’s a yellow cloud of smog hanging over the Greater Reykjavík Area, a rather ugly stain on the picturesque view of the sea and Mt. Esja. Yuck!

Sunrise was at 11.11; sunset scheduled for 15.58.

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  • Anonymous January 7, 2005, 8:01 pm

    The tsunami and aftermath has headlined our news since it happened. 2 NZers died, several still missing.
    Our tight knit community has been deeply affected as these are popular winter destinations for us.
    We also have lots of volcanic activity going on and are having a series of little earthquakes and after shocks. Luckily there is an emphasis on “little”.
    Where does the smog come from?
    Louise

  • Alda January 7, 2005, 11:35 pm

    Yes, I imagine it must affect you even more, Louise, as it is in your general vicinity.
    Our smog comes from cars and ships, mostly. Bleh!

  • Anonymous January 8, 2005, 1:28 am

    Most of all I feel for the indigenous people.Although it is tragic that so many lives have been lost and I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for those waiting to hear of loved ones,the foreign tourists who were injured can leave and resume life, albeit changed forever, in their homeland. The local people have lost families, homes, livelihoods and a future. And now I hear that in Indonesia child traffickers have moved in and targeted some of these tragic orphans!

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