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Unemotional catrastophe-formula:
Catastrophe x slow and/or minimum of well-informed and unprejudiced help = maximum of dead and suffering man.
Catastrophe x fast and maximum of well-informed and unprejudiced help = as few dead or suffering man as possible.
Every single saved human life is a gain, the fear of panic reactions by bulks if informing truthfully about the real danger can paralyze reasonable deliverance.

Tsunami 2004 - review of an information-processing-volunteer and consequences for future catastrophes.  
Decoupling of original text in German : “Directed to organizations and political crisis reaction forces”:

Also in the political (national and international) sector and the involved government agencies real concern up to some brilliant engagement was clearly to see - but everybody should learn by the retrospect analysis of critical points in any case.

After all, the tsunami in 2004, although primarily was a natural disaster, but already in second respect an information disaster and in third respect a challenge for coordination and logistic - where we - the human society - did react whole-hearted, but finally sub-optimal, too.

No, at the end no “scapegoat” shall be be “driven through the village”, but especially international coordination for emergencies surely can be prepared and improved.
Especially the medical first aid on site sometimes partially has been very lamentable and in the result fatal(!).

This certainly did not depend on the impressive response of the local forces on the ground, but simply founded in the lack of appropriate medications (eg antibiotics) .

At a time it is possible to reach every point on this earth within few hours and parachuting can be done very exactly by the help of satellite supported navigation - even over unknown ground - surely more should be possible, than that what was done end of 2004 and beginning of 2005.

However, governments worldwide should also be prepared to weigh in wholesale disaster very quickly, whether for example the sky is effectively to open for helpful air traffic, or whether one actually needs to suspect that evil enemies would exploit the "presumed favorable moment" for military attacks.
(Added at March 24th, 2011, in the face of the
current Japan-tsunami:)
But I belief I - and everybody else- can be very sure: If a state would misuse such a stuation, it would not only loose friends - more: it would never get back a foot on the ground, punished by the world-community.

About this text and the author:

In the consequence of the tsunami 2004 I was working with internet resources, to clear up the fate of people who were attacked by the tsunami, together with other people engaged in these questions. Especially I had the - if it is possible to say under such a basic condition as the tsunami - pleasure and honor to work as a deputy on an seriousness Austrian Information-Forum.

I had worked in face of catastrophes for some decades - drug addiction, problems of children and the material and intellectual corruption in and of government agencies - as a professional social worker till the derogation of my health.

Today I comment or work at actual events, sometimes by writing to decision-makers directly, sometimes by publishing my thoughts, eg at

This text was original written in German in the year 2006 and published at A version in English was sent to selected recipients. 
But I lost the copies, so I translated it again - now in the face of the Haiti-earthquake January 2010 - to English.

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Created on ... January 24, 2010