Southeast Asia Tsunami Anniversary

on January 3, 2009

Associated Press: “Southeast Asia Remembers Tsunami on Anniversary” Last week marked the fourth anniversary of a deadly natural disaster.

Just after Christmas Day 2004 an Indian Ocean tsunami hit land in Southeast Asia, ravaging the coastal areas of Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia (in particular) and killing nearly a quarter of a million people.

Among the “victims” of the tsunami were the coral reefs in southeast Asia.

The tsunami was a prime—and poignant—reminder of the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin, as Ken Ham wrote in “Lost” without Genesis.

Among the “victims” of the tsunami were the coral reefs in southeast Asia, whose devastation in turn hurt tourism and fishing in the region. But the Associated Press reports that the “tsunami-ravaged coral reefs have bounced back with surprising speed.”

Surveys of the reefs were conducted by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society in conjunction with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. “This is a great story of ecosystem resilience and recovery,” said Stuart Campbell, coordinator of the society’s Indonesia Marine Program.

Reef expert Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland (who did not take part in the study) added, “Left alone, these things can quickly grow back into what looks like a coral reef in a short time. We are seeing similar things around the southern Great Barrier Reef where reefs that experience major catastrophe can bounce back quite quickly.” If the global Flood had destroyed coral reefs, they would have had several hundred years to recover before humanity expanded to the ocean again.

Since coral reef growth is occasionally used to calculate supposed old ages for the earth, it would be interesting to obtain actual data on these reefs’ recent growth and compare to growth rates used by old-earthers for some of their calculations.

Sadly, in addition to the positive ecological news, the AP report included comments from a number of individuals who lost family members to the “death wave.” For them, four years ago no doubt seems like yesterday. Their sadness—or even anger—is a reminder that as Christians, we must have an answer for why God can allow bad things to happen, including the catastrophic loss of life in the 2004 tsunami. We find that answer in Genesis.


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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.