map-samoa-300

I was on Skype with my parents yesterday, and my mom asked me how much coverage last week’s events in the South Pacific were getting here. I had to stop a minute and think. I’d been getting a steady, if thin, stream of information via my mom’s emails and the BBC World feed on Twitter, I realized, but nothing from US news. Maybe I should have started posting Monday after all, I thought, considering I’m supposed to be including news from around the world, especially places I’m covering.

Proximity really does impact what many people, including myself, pay attention to. There’s where we are, and there’s where people we know are, and then there’s places we’re interested in… and everything else… It seems so strange to think that at the beginning of July I knew so little about border issues like immigration (not that I know anything close to everything now, it’s just already so much more than I knew not long ago). I think it’s important to remember for two reasons – to be aware of how we handle news, and to know that others may have the same blind spots. We can’t assume that everyone else knows what we’re up to, but we can be prepared to help fill in the gaps and maybe let them do the same.

Well, I can’t rewind time, but I can post the links I’ve been following and try to bring myself back up to speed…

Coastal warnings remain after quake tsunami – This came to my phone in the middle of class, and I even thought about throwing it up here, but by the time class was over (it’s several hours long, and I do not have the most focused memory, as anyone who’s seen me scrawling to-do lists on scratch paper can attest to) it had slipped away. Anyway, you’ll see the requests for reader submissions of information, photos, and video as well as a link to New Zealand Herald’s Twitter feed (nzherald – excellent source for anyone wanting to keep up with kiwi news, and, indeed, happenings in the general South Pacific). For more on the use of social networks during natural disasters, see Netizens help victims via social network sites about flooding in the Philippines.

Deadly Tsunami Sweeps Through South Pacific – Not long after came the background information, and sites like NPR had media up including the map I borrowed for this entry. As a poster in the comments section notes, places under the initial Tsunami Watch included Hawaii, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Johnston Atoll, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Papua New Guinea, Pohnpeo, Wake Island, Pitcairn Island and Midway (and New Zealand).

During the week, the stories started.

Eye witness accounts:
Mata’afa Keni Lesa
Fa’aliga-Fauena Yi (by Vaimoana Tapaleao)
Salamasina Taufua Part 1 Part 2 (by Vaimoana Tapaleao)

And then stories about the aftermath:
Tsunami: Six minutes to save their lives The Martins
“Sad job means families can get loved ones back”

There are these photo galleries: Search Results for photo gallery + Samoa at New Zealand Herald – I know it’s kind of a strange way to link to them, but the best I could work out (linking directly seems to send the unsuspecting viewer deep into the media player for current news reports, not towards the intended target).

Lastly, some information from AP and NPR on the earthquakes in Indonesia:
Powerful Earthquake Rocks Western Indonesia
Indonesia Quake Toll Crosses 1,000
Second Quake Slams Indonesia; Hundreds Dead
Rising Toll Feared From Quake In Indonesia

Heavy rains hold up search for bodies in Indonesia

Please note that by no means am I claiming this as comprehensive, it’s what I could find quickly to get myself more oriented about what happened and what’s happening now.