Iraq War, Tsunami Top Events of 2005: Poll

The Iraqi war and the Indian Ocean tsunami were seen the main global events of 2005, according to a BBC poll Friday, December 30. A 15 percent of nearly 32,500 people in 27 countries said that the Iraq conflict, triggered by the US invasion-turned-occupat

Iraq War, Tsunami Top Events of 2005: Poll

The survey, conducted by the BBC World Service by Canadian pollsters GlobeScan, showed that the conflict came top among 43 percent of Iraqis polled. The poll, however, showed that only 9 percent of respondents in Britain, which has troops in the oil-rich Arab country, saw the conflict as the most global event. British medical weekly, Lancet, said last year that over 100,000 Iraqi civilians -- half of whom women and children -- have lost their lives since the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The 26 December 2004 tsunami was joint first as the most significant event of 2005, drawing 15 percent of answers. The tidal waves obtained high scores in the Asia-Pacific as 57 percent of those polled in Sri Lanka and 31 percent in Indonesia said the disaster as the most significant.

More than 220,000 people were killed and the lives of millions more were altered forever by the giant waves, unleashed by a 9.3 magnitude earthquake, the world's biggest quake in 40 years, which struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Pope's Death

The US hurricanes of Katrina and Rita, which devastated the US Gulf Coast in August and September, came third as the most significant world events, drawing nine percent of respondents. However, only 15 percent of Americans cited the hurricanes as the most significant, a percentage less than some other countries such as Afghanistan (18%) and Argentina (18%).

Over 1,000 were killed when Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast just outside the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and swept devastation through the area with winds of up to 145 mph (233 km/h).

It further sent a devastating wall of water into the Mississippi and 80% of New Orleans, had been submerged by waters as deep as 6m (20ft). The death of Pope John Paul II on April 2 and the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI came fourth, drew 6 percent of the answers.

Pope II's death rated high in several Catholic countries such as Poland (48%) and Italy (17%). It also rated highly in the Congo (29%) and Kenya (10%). The July 7 terrorist attacks in London came fifth on the list, drawing 4 percent of respondents.

Interestingly, a mere 7 percent of British respondents named the triple explosions as the most significant event of the year. The bombings scored higher in other countries including Ghana (11%), Australia, (8%) and Spain (8%).

Global warming featured prominently in the answers of 3% of those surveyed, scoring 13% in Mexico, 11% in Finland and 10% in the UK.


 

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