3,700 Fishermen Lost In Monster Storm
By James Donahue
A tropical storm with winds measuring at 70 miles per hour sank and overturned an estimated 400
fishing vessels in the Andaman Sea, off the Malaysian Peninsula on March 14-16. Nearly half of an estimated 7,000 fishermen
were rescued but authorities fear up to 3,700 were lost.
Burma’s state media reports that naval ships and an armada of local fishing boats combed
the waters looking for survivors. Miraculously 3,374 fishermen were pulled from the water alive. After two weeks, however,
the rest are feared dead. Some 222 fishermen have been hospitalized.
The fishermen were caught unaware of the impending storm when they went to sea in what has been
described as no more than flimsy bamboo rafts. The vessels could not withstand the force of the high seas and near typhoon
force winds that battered them.
Area meteorologists predicted heavy winds and rain in the area but did not predict the storm that
developed. The gale on March 13 reportedly destroyed over 100 homes in Rangoon and the surrounding area.
We are reporting this incredible loss of life by yet another natural weather-related disaster because
it appears that the world media has been so preoccupied with events in Japan and Libya and has either overlooked its significance,
or written it off as unimportant.
When as many as 3,700 sailors are lost in a single storm at sea, such a disaster rivals the sinking
of the Titanic which claimed 1,517 lives, and the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 that sank 19 ships, stranded 19 others, and killed
over 250 sailors.
In the perilous times in which we currently live, with disasters claiming thousands of lives at
a single blow, it appears that even journalists are becoming so numbed by such news and overwhelmed by the statistics they
are insensitive to an event at such an obscure place as a disaster off the coast of Myanmar, the new name for the nation we
know as Burma.