Asian Tsunami   -    


The Asian tsunami is used as a example of a complex societal problem


We hope that preventing events like this tsunami, by better communication and by preventions and better care afterwards  can mitigate the suffering of the people who lost family members, freinds, goods and their income  to the terrible disaster of the Tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Asia. The damages of these kind of disaster can be mitegated by using the COMPRAM methodology (DeTombe, 1994). The COMPRAM methodology is selected by the OECD (July 2006) as one of the best methdologues to handle Global safety.


Like all of us we are shocked by the terrible disaster of the Tsunami of 26 December in Asia. Following the disaster closely hour by hour on the television, web and in the journals we are terrified more and more each moment.


Our sincere condolences go to the inhabitants of the effected areas in Asia and the tourists, there at that moment. To the people who lost their lives in the disaster, who are injured or lost members of their families and goods. Our special concerns go to the children who lost their parents and the parents who lost their children.


As this kind of disaster is part of the field we all are working in ‘handling complex societal problems’ we follow and cover the news as closely as possible in order to be able to analyze what happened afterwards. Prevention of disasters, and dealing with the complexity after a disaster is a topic of our field.


It is comforting to see that the whole world is alert, and willing to help. To see  that the local, governmental, NGO’s and international organizations are doing their utmost to help as good as possible and that people all over the world are willing to send money stimulated by the frightening real life reports of the media.


Nevertheless we can already saw at that moment  that the communication and the distribution of food and medicines and physical help in the first days are very difficult. We fear that some of the support given is coming to late due to, not adequate reactions to the disaster, too late reactions, former political fights and corruption. Deaths have to be identified, as far as this is possible or later on, recognized as deaths. People sending money meanwhile seeing the local currencies going down by opportunists playing the stock market. Miscommunication, ignorance, political differences,

Inefficiency and corruption is unfortunately almost always the case in handling complex societal issues like this disaster.


Now, when the direct emotional attention of the world is slipped away, the survivors, and the affected countries, are confronted with the huge effort of building up there lives again. People are emotional shocked and mentally abused by the lost of their loved one’s, their families and friends, their means of living.


Many things have to be build up again, injured people physically and mentally have to be helped, orphaned children have to be very carefully taken care of, man and women have to be able to make a living to support their family again, infrastructure and communication have to be rebuild, flooded areas have to be cleaned, fisher boots, schools, hospitals have to be rebuild. Money promised have to be distributed to those areas and people to which it was mend for. This has to be very carefully controlled. This needs next to money support of people experts like, doctors, nurses, psychologists, building companies for building houses and boats, agricultural experts, communication, roads builders, traffic experts, etc.


How to deal with this complexity is the center of our scientific field, how to use the knowledge and effort of experts, how to make the different power parties (actors/ stakeholders) to communicate and agree on accepted and sustainable solutions and how to deal with emotions. Each of us focuses on their own methods and tools of how to handle such a complexity.  Our researchers are specialized in logistics, decision support, effects on communication, transportation, sociological effects of the people, individual effects, political effects, effects on local communities, effects on economics, and effects on the soil.


The issues we could address are: prevention of disaster, c.q. diminishing the casualties, by  analyzing how other disasters are handled in Bangladesh of BAM for instance, early warning systems how does this help?, prevention of disasters by medical supplies and airplanes, helicopter, flying hospitals, food and water supply storages, sustainable building houses, stabile communication, how can satellites help, and communication between international organizations of different kind, governmental and Non Governmental organization, and local organizations given different cultures, languages and religious and political believes and different knowledge, power and emotion. What were the blind spots, what were the white spots in handling the disaster, what went well and why, what happened concerning the knowledge, power and emotion.


Dealing with the disaster at the moment of the disaster, handling the effect afterwards, rebuilding the communities, long term effects on people, fear, tourist industry, and land. How to improve handling a disaster like this in the future.


As president of the International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity we like to ask your contribution to the victims of the Asian Tsunami to dedicate a part of your workforce to the issue of dealing with the effects of the Tsunami disaster and how to get these areas back to a reasonable level of living.

reflecting on this disaster can be used to learn more about the COMPRAM methodology.


Included you will find the agenda of 2005. We like to dedicate our discussions in the meetings and conferences these next years on this disaster, on the causes, prevention and effects and on rebuilding commnities. We like to dedicate a special issue of the International Scientific Journal of Methods and Models of Complexity to the Tsunami disaster (see agenda 2005 ).


We are sure you find these disaster important enough to dedicate some of your scientific worktime to and that you like to contribute some of your scientifical knowledge in order to mitigate the damage to the victims of the disaster in this way.


Yours sincerely,



Dorien  DeTombe



Prof. Dr. Dorien  DeTombe
Chair EUROMSC  Euro Work Group of Societal Complexity
Sichuan University, Chengdu, P.R. China
Chair International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity
 Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe Tel: +31 20 6927526
多莉恩·德通教授  华人民共和国四川省成都市





©Dorien J. DeTombe, All rights reserved, update first announced December 2004, updated March 2007