Saturday, March 12, 2011

21 hours to...

Stirke a world-wide, sympathetic response.
Change a country.
Take thousands of lives.

The Japanese earthquake/tsunami.

Surely, it's one of the most catastrophic natural disasters of all time.

Thousands are feared dead, more are left homeless, the country is brought to it's knees between the initial 8.9 magnitude earthquakes, the twelve powerful aftershocks (seven of the measuring at least 6.3 on the Richter scale) and the collosal, 13ft high tsunami, thousands are evacuated after a state of emergency is called due to a nuclear reactors' cooling systems' failure.

It sounds as if it is an excerpt from a disaster movie, or an Aztec prophecy, but those are the facts. And they make for very disturbing reading.

The tsunami was so powerful, it's waves reached across the world, affecting areas as far spread as Russia, Hawaii and Peru. 

The stock markets are in disarray as businessmen and women reach a state of confusion over money and what this disaster will do to affect them...

Yesterday, on Friday the 11th of March, 2011, the world woke up to the horrors that was the Japanese earthquake. We watched together, in terrified awe, at the speed and destruction of the tsunami waves, washing away anything in it's path, be it boats, cars, trains or even houses, there was barely a thing left standing.

And if you managed to survive the earthquake, it's aftershocks, the tsunami and the possible radiation poisoning, you still had to contend with the fires that erupted from an oil refinery in Kesennuma city, home to 74,000 people. Reports tell us that the entire city is on fire. 

It's death and destruction on a scale that very few of us can imagine. Just when we think that it can't get any worse, another piece of "Breaking News" is broadcast. 

So we watch, and we wait. We'll think of the poor Japanese, hell, we might even donate, but as soon as the dust and debris settle, and the fires are extinguished, they are shoved to the back of our minds.

It's sickening that it is the case, but it's true. We are too wrapped up in our own devices, in our own problems, that we do not see the bigger picture and we become ignorant to the pain of others.

Think of the New Zealand earthquake, that took place only two and a half weeks ago. We remembered the victims for a couple of days, a week, perhaps, at the most, unless we were physically or genetically connected to the country or it's victims in some way. 

The Japanese earthquake was 8,000 times more powerful (Yes, that is a real statistic), so does that mean we will remember this tragedy 8,000 times longer?

Don't bet on it.

This saddens me greatly. I love the Japanese, for both their people and their culture. They deserve to be able to live happily and be remembered after their death... they do not, under any circumstances, deserve to be forgotten about after such cruel happenings have taken place. That goes for any race, gender, or age group.

The fact that the Japanese have the best earthquake "proof" technology in the world and the earthquake still managed to cause so much destruction truly is a testament to the strength of nature...

If anything, this disaster really made me realise how lucky we all are. I have loving friends and family, a roof above my head, a comfy bed, running water, food, a car, prospects, some money... Things that we all take for granted but would miss greatly if they vanished.

So please, keep the Japanese in your thoughts (and, if religious, your prayers) right now. They really need it.