Arthur C. Clarke, in Sri Lanka, Calls Tsunami 'Disaster of Unprecedented Magnitude'
Sir Arthur C. Clarke, author of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and other popular science fiction novels, is among the survivors of Sunday's tsunami that hit his home nation of Sri Lanka and other Asian countries.
Like scientists who focus on the dangers of these incredible sea waves, Sir Arthur has written about them. He provided this message Monday on his foundation's web site:
"Thank you for your concern about my safety in the wake of Sunday's devastating tidal wave.
"I am enormously relieved that my family and household have escaped the ravages of the sea that suddenly invaded most parts of coastal Sri Lanka, leaving a trail of destruction.
"But many others were not so fortunate. For hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans and an unknown number of foreign tourists, the day after Christmas turned out to be a living nightmare reminiscent of The Day After Tomorrow.
"Among those affected are my staff based at our diving station in Hikkaduwa and holiday bungalow in Kahawa - both beachfront properties located in areas worst hit. We still don't know the fully extent of damage as both roads and phones have been damaged. Early reports indicate that we have lost most of our diving equipment and boats. Not all our staff members are accounted for - yet.
"This is indeed a disaster of unprecedented magnitude for Sri Lanka which lacks the resources and capacity to cope with the aftermath. We are all trying to contribute to the relief efforts. We shall keep you informed as we learn more about what happened.
"Curiously enough, in my first book on Sri Lanka, I had written about another tidal wave reaching the Galle harbour (see Chapter 8 in "The Reefs of Taprobane," 1957). That happened in August 1883, following the eruption of Krakatoa in roughly the same part of the Indian Ocean."
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