I’ve been watching the History channel a lot the last couple of days. During commercial breaks, they have little blurbs chronicling events that took place on that day in history. Today, one of the events they’ve been mentioning is the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Strangely, they noted that 10,000 people died in the disaster. That’s a pretty big typo when over 200,000 people actually died (exact numbers above that vary depending on where you look, and precise numbers will probably never be known). I’d thought I’d misread it the first time it appeared on the screen today.
I’d forgotten that it was just after Christmas that it happened. But I remember how surreal it was to watch. As the death toll rose, reaching absolutely unreal heights, my brain just went numb. That’s the population of Halifax wiped off the map. Whole towns, gone in a few minutes. I watched the tsunami episode of “Seconds from Disaster” yesterday, and it’s still horrifying.