Unexpected Tsunami Heroes: Bloggers

Bloggers providing relief information and sharing vivid photographs are playing a significant role in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated several South Asian countries.

Almost immediately after the tsunami struck Sunday, bloggers began covering the event like a news story, offering graphic details of what happened. Mainstream media outlets have picked up on the reports, too. The New York Times wrote, “For vivid reporting from the enormous zone of tsunami disaster, it was hard to beat the blogs.”

Some blogs offer up-to-the-minute information on relief efforts. The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami blog provides news on the resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts in the region. The website is run by people in South Asia who launched the venture Monday.

Another blogger, Fred Robarts, has posted photos of the disaster at . His first picture–portraying a blue boat shattered by a tree–went online about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. He has continued to provide updates from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

“The sheer brute violence of that single wave is staggering,” Robarts wrote after making his first post. “Every house and fishing boat has been smashed, the entire length of the east coast. People who know and respect the sea well now talk of it in shock, dismay and fear.”

Sumankumar’s yak pad features photos and updates from Nanda Kishore of Chennai, India. Blogger Suman Kumar has also provided links to other websites with tsunami information, as have blogs such as Boing Boing and WorldChanging.

Bloggers–who made their first big splash during the 2004 presidential campaign–have found a helpful and valuable niche in the wake of the tsunami disaster.