Subject: Re: Indian Ocean disaster / Risk consideration
Happy Holidays, Ziners!

I agree with Lidia and other ziners who said they wouldn't let the possibilities of natural disasters dissuade them from traveling. In fact, a number of my travels have been to areas that recently had a disaster. This was always a coincidence, not planned, and made me paranoid for a while thinking I might be somehow causing these disasters .

Two in particular I remember are Hurricane Iniki that devastated the Hawaiian island of Kauai a few years ago. I had been set to stay on Kauai two weeks later, and I still wanted to go even though they weren't letting in anyone except relief workers and contractors. I love that island and wanted to give them my support, which I did when I had to re-do my plans and stay on Maui and Oahu instead. I donated to the relief fund through the Bank of Hawaii, and I bought an "I survived Hurricane Iniki" t-shirt.

Another time I was due to travel to the Caribbean island of St. Martin, and a hurricane had hit there shortly before. There was much damage at the resort (Mullet Bay) where I stayed, but the infrastructure was okay. I understand now that Mullet Bay did not survive another, more recent, hurricane, which greatly saddens me.

Another time on Kauai (the island most prone to natural disasters because of its location in the islands), I was staying in Princeville at the resort there that's built down a cliff to Hanalei Bay. I woke up one morning with an announcement saying a tsunami was expected in 2 or 3 hours due to an earthquake off the coast of Japan. We were on one of the upper floors, but people on lower floors were told to evacuate to the lobby (at the top of the cliff). We had a window seat with a view of the beach, and we sat there and watched the waves for 2 hours before the all-clear sounded. The waves got a bit higher, but not bad.

I read in the San Diego newspaper today that it's unlikely we would get a large tsunami, as the earthquake-prone area near Japan which produces many tsunamis is far enough away that the Philippines and the Hawaiian islands would slow it down. With this latest disastrous tsunami, sea levels off San Diego rose only 8 inches.

The area that was hit in Southeast Asia is where I visited on a cruise 3 years ago, and I am so sad this beautiful part of the world, and its people, has had this disaster.

Incidentally, I recently returned from a long cruise roundtrip from San Diego to the islands and back. I'm in the process of writing my travelogue from my notes, and will start posting it soon.

Diana San Diego, California