Tsunami Video Footage: Amateur Recordings of an Immense Disaster

Shocked, frightened, helpless, they have instead the tsunami video footage, saved for posterity, even perhaps if a loved one had been lost forever.


Tsunami Video Footage

by Sandhya Thukaram

What’s Left of a Disaster- Tsunami Video Footage:

2,80,000 dead and over 5 million rendered homeless, all in one devastating moment. Tsunami video footage gathered from various sources show that it really was a case of the huge tidal wave coming, seeing and conquering.

Leaving behind unbelievable devastation, viewing the tsunami video footage is almost like watching a special effects Steven Spielberg flick, sans the hi-tech quality but with a greater sense of foreboding. If only it was just a movie. A scriptwriter would’ve fallen short of describing the full extent of what will go down in history as one of the worst natural disasters ever.

Tsunami video footage tells the tale of happy vacationer watching almost in wonder as the sea rose and then not watching at all- they’d been swept away. Beautiful, plush holiday resorts reduced to rubble. Fishing boats smashed, even if the breadwinner had managed to escape there'’ be no bread. Mothers screaming, calling out for their lost children, and children, lost, too small to call out for their mothers. All this on tsunami video footage, that’s what’s left- the tsunami on the other hand has come…and gone.

Amateur Tsunami Video Footage:

Of course they had cameras. They were going to go back after all and show family and friends clips of what was going to be a great vacation. But, that wasn’t meant to be. Shocked, frightened, helpless, they have instead the tsunami video footage, saved for posterity, even perhaps if a loved one had been lost forever.

The tsunami video footage most survivors have is not of great technical quality, in fact some pictures are blurred and jagged. Reality though is clearly etched in their minds. There is footage from Phuket, taken from inside a restaurant of an older couple clinging for life as the tide rushes in.

From Sri Lanka there is tsunami video footage from the upper balcony of a hotel, taken as the entire swimming area gets fresh water …straight from the sea. From Penang beach, there is footage of men wrestling with the waves. Most of the sites online have limited access to tsunami video footage. One hopes though that looking at pictures helps get aid to the people who need it and doesn’t remain a voyeuristic pastime of us vicarious people.

Watching the Tsunami Video Footage…And Life Goes On:

I spoke with a friend in Sri Lanka a couple days ago. The same friend who after the 26th of December 2004, was in a bad way. The enormity of the disaster had just set in. Every Sri Lankan from every part of the world was combining forces to do their bit. Civil groups pitched in to help set up relief camps. Doctors left cushy jobs in the west to rush homeward and offer their skills.

While recordings of the tsunami video footage was being aired simultaneously on all television channels, one saw heart warming scenes of people rushing forward to help. Tsunami video footage showed touching scenes and real life heroes. That was then.

Speaking to my Sri Lankan friend, I was surprised to learn that life in general was almost back to normal. The great tidal wave already a thing of the past and matters of everyday existence had taken precedence. In time to come the tsunami of 26th December 2004 will become just another label in news archive - tsunami video footage. C’est la vie!

More Sandhya Thukaram

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