Like everybody else, I've been watching the news and seeing the photos and reading the newspaper articles about the devastation in Asia, and mostly feeling numb horror. Today, sitting reading the New York Times, it suddenly was very hard not to cry reading about it. Maybe it just takes time for something like this to sink in. Maybe it never actually does.

The Times today ran a set of before and after aerial photos of Banda Aceh, Indonesia that shocked me. The contrast - not just the destroyed buildings, but the way the shoreline by the city is just different than it used to be - gave me a sense of the magnitude of this disaster, and how its effects take many forms - the loss of life, the destruction of homes, but also how a the places themselves have been permanently altered.

I can only think that as the survivors struggle for the basics of life in the aftermath, they must feel like the living dead.

I couldn't find a page on the Times site to link to directly with the photos, but if you go here and click the "Asia's Deadly Waves" link in the right column under "Multimedia," you can see them.

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