I s O t O n I c

Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve Gathering

Chongqing Steamboat, Bugis

This is where we discovered mala m, mala zc.

Guess who won the "can eat" competition? [Ans can be found at the bottom of this post]

The lanterns are out in Bugis...though there's still one month to CNY.

[ans: j. wk came a close 2nd]

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The "3"

I wonder what happened to the "3" on my keyboard. Firstly when I type the letter "t", it will follow behind my "t". Then the problem evolved to when I press it, nothing appears. Next, the "3" will appear automatically as soon as I position my cursor on a writable area and a string of "3"s will follow as if the key is continually depressed. Finally the 3 scenarios alternate between one another.

Is it a virus or my keyboard??


From pc, from HK.

Monday, December 27, 2004

I don't know what to say...

Straits Times Interactive
Dec 26, 2004

Thousands dead as massive quake, tidal waves hit Asia

COLOMBO (Sri Lanka) - The most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into coastlines across Asia on Sunday, killing more than 8,700 people in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

Residents try to cross a flooded street in Aceh province, Indonesia. Towns nearest the epicentre were levelled by tidal waves. -- AP

Tourists, fishermen, hotels, homes and cars were swept away by walls of water unleashed by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake, centred off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where at least 1,902 people were killed by floods and collapsing buildings, officials said.

Initial damage centred on the Indonesian province of Aceh on northern Sumatra. Dozens of buildings were destroyed, but as elsewhere, much of the death toll appeared to come from onrushing floodwaters.

Towns nearest the epicentre were levelled by tidal waves, which killed at least 1,902 people and left bodies wedged in trees as the waters receded, Indonesian officials and witnesses said.

Communications were down in several coastal towns facing the epicentre of the undersea quake off the western coast of Aceh, raising fears of widespread and as yet unreported damage in the region.

But the scope of the disaster became apparent only after waves as high as six metres crashed into coastal areas throughout the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea.

At least 10 powerful aftershocks were also reported in the province after the initial quake struck, a seismologist said.


EARTHQUAKES reaching a magnitude 8 are very rare. Sunday's quake is the largest in 40 years, reported CNN.com.

The quake came just three days after an 8.1 quake struck the ocean floor between Australia and Antarctica, causing buildings to shake hundreds of miles away but no serious damage or injury.

A quake registering magnitude 8 rocked Japan's northern island of Hokkaido on Sept 25, 2003, injuring nearly 600 people. An 8.4 magnitude tremor that stuck off the coast of Peru on June 23, 2001, killed 74.

The US Geological Survey's website recorded the magnitude 8.9 earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, 1,620km north-west of Jakarta. It was centred 40km below the seabed, the website reported.

The earthquake was the world's fifth most powerful since 1900 and the strongest since a 9.2 temblor slammed Alaska in 1964, US earthquake experts said.

The force of it shook unusually far afield, causing buildings to sway hundreds of miles away, from Singapore to the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, and in Bangladesh, hours after the region's Christian communities had finished Christmas celebrations.

A spokesman for Indonesian state-owned Garuda Airlines said Banda Aceh's airport - located several kilometers from the sea - was flooded and planes were unable to land there. The spokesman did not say how deep the water was.

Electricity and telephone networks in parts of Banda Aceh were knocked out and dozens of shops and buildings had either collapsed or were damaged, witnesses told el-Shinta.

Residents in the Indonesian towns of Lhokseumawe and Banda Aceh reported tidal waves had triggered flooding in coastal regions.

Rising water levels in inland rivers were also reported.

Tremors felt in Singapore
Some residents in Singapore felt light tremors from the Indonesian quake.

'There were mild tremors in different parts of Singapore,' said a spokesman from the National Environment Agency who declined to be named. 'We felt it one minute after it started.'

Tourists on Kata beach in Phuket, Thailand, assess the damage from a tidal wave triggered by the magnitude-8.9 earthquake from Indonesia. -- AP

Tourists killed in Phuket
Nearly 289 people were killed and more than 1,900 injured, with scores missing in southern Thai resorts after the major earthquake caused tidal waves and flooding, a government disaster centre said.

The Narenthorn Centre of the Public Health Ministry reported that some people had been swept out to sea from a Phuket beach by tidal waves. About 10,000 tourists were trapped on higher ground, while others were stuck at sea in boats.

Some of the dead were local workers and at least four tourists died. The victims were in Trang, Songkhla, Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga, Satun and Surat Thani provinces, which draw thousands of visitors each year because of their world-famous beaches.

In the midst of the Andaman Sea on Phi Phi island -- where The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed -- 200 bungalows at two resorts were swept out to sea, along with some of its staff and customers.

Watcharat Hospital in Phuket was full, with many foreigners coming from hotels on popular Kamala and Patong beaches, said a hospital official who declined to be named.

Several southern Thai resorts were flooded. On Phang-Nga island, another popular tourist area near Phuket, people sought refuge from the floods on rooftops. Cars were carried away by rising waters in neighbouring Krabi, a spokesman from the ministry said.

Tidal waves hit Penang
At least 42 people died after they were swept away by tidal waves on a Malaysian resort island and in other areas.

Many of the victims drowned while swimming or riding jet skis near beaches on Penang island in northwestern Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak told a news conference. Others died on the mainland states of Kedah and Perak.

At least 111 others received treatment for injuries, while dozens were reported missing.

More than 1,000 homes across numerous fishing villages were destroyed as waves roared into the coastline, leaving hundreds of families homeless, disaster officials said.

'I have ordered precautionary measures to shift people to safer areas,' Mr Najib said. 'It is possible there might be more tidal waves. We should be ready if there is another round.'

Tidal waves as high as five metres hit Penang and several other Malaysian islands following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake near Indonesia's Sumatra island.

Officials received reports that some vessels capsized at sea, but there was no immediate word of casualties outside Penang.

Thousands dead as tidal waves hit India, Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka -- some 1,600km west of the epicentre -- the death toll stood at 4,500.

A view of the Marina Beach littered with debris after tidal waves hit the coast in Madras, southern India, on Sunday. -- AP

The Sri Lankan government called Sunday's events a national disaster and appealed for emergency relief.

The deaths occurred in the north-eastern districts of Muttur and Trincomalee, which were inundated by waves as high as 6m, said a Muttur district official.

Elsewhere, flash floods shut the port in the capital, Colombo, and displaced thousands of people in dozens of villages along the eastern and southern coasts, police and witnesses said.

In India, a massive tidal wave slammed into several parts of southern India, killing at least 2,000 people, most of them in Tamil Nadu state, as thick walls of water swept away boats, homes and vehicles, officials said.

The beaches of Tamil Nadu turned into virtual open air mortuaries as bodies of fishermen lost at seat were washed ashore and others killed inland were dumped on the sand by retreating waters. Streets of Cuddalore town were flooded with sea water, and dozens of cars were overturned and some were seen perched at awkward angles atop road dividers.

At least 150 bodies were recovered from Cuddalore and its outlying areas, and another 100 bodies were found on various beaches in Madras, the capital of Tamil Nadu.

46 people were killed in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh's three districts, including 32 in Krishna district, said police. They said the 32 people including 15 children had gone into the sea for a Hindu religious bath to mark the full moon day.

Two people were killed and 100 injured in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a remote sparsely populated area in the Bay of Bengal, about 1,500km east of Madras. The US Geological Survey reported that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands also was hit by an earthquake of 7.3 magnitude on Sunday.

Officials said at least 63 people were killed and more than 250 fishermen were missing from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Naidu. Residents in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu spoke of massive walls of water as high as 3.6m slamming into the shore.

Tidal waves hit Maldives
MALE (Maldives) -- The waves caused by the huge earthquake in Indonesia hit the Maldives, injuring an Italian tourist and possibly causing the death of a British man, officials and witnesses said.

Much of the Maldives, a string of 1,192 coral atolls off the south-western coast of India, was inundated by floods after the magnitude-8.9 earthquake off northern Indonesia unleashed tidal waves.

A British tourist at White Sand Beach resort in South Ari atoll died from a heart attack possibly after seeing the huge wave heading toward him, while an Italian tourist was seriously injured. Their identities were not released.

Some 285 tourists were on the beach at the time.

In the capital, Male, waters approached the office of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and authorities closed the country's only international airport.

Jetties and boat houses were destroyed at other resorts and homes elsewhere in the island nation were flooded.

Buildings sway in neighbouring countries
The Charoenkrung Pracharat hospital in Bangkok evacuated hundreds of patients from a 24-story building, moving some out on hospital beds with oxygen tanks, a hospital official told Ruam Duay Chuay Kan radio station.

Apartment building residents in Bangkok said they heard cracking noises and felt rumbling and evacuated their buildings.

Residents of some high-rise apartments in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia's northern tourist island of Penang were briefly evacuated as a precaution, condominium officials said. No immediate reports of damage were known, but workers were checking some buildings to determine whether there were cracks.

Kuwait sends US$1m aid
KUWAIT CITY -- The government of Kuwait said on Sunday that it was sending US$1 million to the victims of the earthquake that hit Indonesia and the tidal waves it caused in neighbouring countries.

The Cabinet said in a statement after its weekly meeting that the donation was meant to help the victims deal with the aftermath of the catastrophe. It did not specify when or to whom the aid would go. -- AP

Why "Boxing Day"

Since I am in a crappy mood, I shall tell a story on how Boxing Day came about.

Once upon a time in a Southern province of China, a group of mahjong kakis were playing their favorite game. One of them took a tile and wanted to "gung" against the rule. The kaki seated opposite him was so angry that he threatened to box him. A boxing fight ensued.

That day happened to be the 26th of December.

This is a less than colourful narration of the story I heard. In any case since it is meant to be crappy, I guess it doesn't really matter......

Sunday, December 26, 2004




Saturday, December 25, 2004

My Public Blog

I finally succumbed to peer pressure from my cousin to set up my first public blog.

It shall be my avenue of keeping in touch with friends, cousins, etc. :p but don't expect to see anything too interesting here though. coz it'll remain my playground...