Today’s tsunamis recall Krakatoa

Today’s tsunamis recall Krakatoa: In addition to the coverage from CNN and other news sources, bloggers are following the aftermath of today’s massive tsunamis in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India triggered by the largest earthquake in 40 years. Slashdot has an open thread and The Command Post is updating continuously with links to news stories and bloggers in the regions affected.

Coincidentally (and viewing today’s events, eerily so), I recently read Simon Winchester’s fascinating book, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 about the volcano and resulting tsunamis that killed 36,000 in Indonesia. The event, Winchester points out in his book, was the first such natural disaster that happened after the world was fully “connected” by telegraph cables, therefore making it the first global news event followed by people worldwide in something similar to what today we’d call “real time.”

Quote from Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa:

“The eruption of Krakatoa was, indeed, the first true catastrophe in the world to take place after the establishment of a worldwide network of telegraph cables — a network that allowed news of disaster to be flashed around the planet in double-quick time. The implications of this rapid and near-ubiquitous spread of information were profound.”