Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Catastrophe Beyond Words

The massive sorrows and terrors in the wake of the tsunami which hit Japan are too many to count.

I have numerous friends who have many loved ones there, and I hate to imagine what they have been going through. The loss of life and safety today are at brutal levels, and sadly, will likely increase for so many. Words plunked down here on this blog fail to capture the grim realities facing the island nation.

This event is global - tsunami waves traveled some 5,000 miles from Japan to California in mere hours. Scientists report the entire planet shifted and the main island itself moved from 8 to 12 feet following the quake which ruptured the the planet's crust in an area about 250 miles long and 100 miles wide.

We each of us have life-challenging days, but coming face to face with the ocean's raw fury and the shifting of the very surface of the planet is nearly beyond comprehension.

Recovery efforts will bring even heavier burdens.

If you are able to offer assistance, I hope you will.

I marvel at how some survived, such as 60-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa, who was clinging to the roof of his home as the waves hit, and both he and the roof were swept out into the ocean, where he was finally discovered by rescuers after two days and some 10 miles from shore.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:47 AM

    About thirty years ago there was a lot of discussion in an ecology class of mine about the wisdom of putting nuclear reactors on a major fault line by the Japanese.

    Another topic discussed was the emissions of carbon and the likelihood of climate change.

    The beauty of science is that it attempts to describe the world we live in devoid of emotionalism and the constraints religion place on our deception of reality. Science is not perfect but ever changing as our knowledge base continues to expand.

    Our hearts go out to the Japanese for the tremendous losses they have incurred. But there is no doubt that future decision making by them will be tempered by the current disaster. They were better prepared for this than any other county on the planet and even though though it looks like none of that preparation helped, it did!

    The compromises that we make based on the best science available will most often come back to bite us in the butts. We need to bring science and scientists into our homes and honor them with a fraction of the attention we give Hollywood goofballs.

    P.S. Thorium reactors seem to be able to be turned off immediately in such a disaster.