Tragedy in Japan

Earthquake-triggered tsumanis sweep shores along Iwanuma in northern Japan on Friday. The magnitude 8.9 earthquake slammed Japan's eastern coast, generating a tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland.

News reports and footage are presenting a tragic picture after the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on Friday.  The coastal city of Sendai took the full force of the tsunami with 30-foot waves as the rest of Northeastern Japan suffered under the impact.

What does 8.9 means on the Richter scale of measurement?  It is equal to 336 megatons of TNT, Tri Nitro Toluene.

Tsunami waves hit residences in Natori, Miyagi prefecture

What troubles me is that in some of the newscasts that I watched yesterday the reporters were in awe of the power of the tsunami as they showed the footage of the 30-foot waves sweeping everything in their path to oblivion. They failed to grasp or chose to ignore the people dying in the video footage. The reporters’ failure to mention the human misery and death seems so cold and callous.  It is a sad commentary on the massive devastation and loss of human life being shown. The eulogical footage of  destruction, death and misery is sobering. 

Let us remember our brothers and sisters in Japan, especially in the affected areas.  The loss of life is high, and the injuries are many.  Many are still trapped and dying in the ruins and water. Many are searching for their loved ones and friends. Grief and suffering seem to be the aftermath of a tragedy.

For their suffering is our suffering on this planet traversing the cosmos. For we all are fellow travellers on this cosmic journey.

Life is so fragile on this orb.  Death can come so unexpectedly to the human race as the events of yesterday so graphically demonstrated. 

Never take the moments of life on earth for granted. Treasure your time and your loved ones. Value your time that you have been given. For what is unknown is when your last moments of life will occur.

G. D. Williams       © 2011

All photos are from the AP.

For up-to-date coverage of this horrific disaster:







Japan’s meteorological agency said that within two hours, large tsunamis washed ashore into cities along a 2100km stretch of the country’s eastern shore from the northern island of Hokkaido to central Wakayama prefecture.

Kevin McCue, a seismologist and adjunct professor at Central Queensland University based in Canberra, said seven earthquakes over magnitude-8 had rocked Japan since 1891. In 1923, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake killed 147,000 people in Kanto, he said.

In 1995, more than 6000 people died in an earthquake. But the 8.9-magnitude quake yesterday exceeded all of them.

“Our expectation is that many people will be killed and there will be extensive damage,” Professor McCue said. “Fortunately for Tokyo, it’s a bit further north than the great Kanto earthquake was, which means the damage in Tokyo is likely to be much less.”

The earthquake off Indonesia that set off the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, killing more than 200,000 people, was 9.1 on the Richter scale.