Monday, 14 March 2011


On Friday morning I was up early for work.  I was my usual early morning grumpy self.  I got my Cornflakes and tea and plonked down in my chair in front  of the TV.  On the screen I saw a brown wave full of debris sweeping across land at great speed, ripping out everything in its path.  Whole houses, cars, lorries, trees, were caught in the sludgy torrent.  It was in Japan and there had been an earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami.  It was dreadful to see everything being swept away by the wave.

As the days went by more and more images were brought to us via the Internet and the brave reporters who travelled there to tell the story.  The scenes towns literally being taken out of existence by the tsunami reminded me of the grainy black and white images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atomic bombs were dropped.  In Minamisinraku only the hospital survived amidst the devastation, looking much like the domed building that still stood amongst the ruins of Hiroshima. Only this time the destroyer was nature not man.   And there also may be another nuclear danger, this time with the threat of meltdown in the reactors at the Fukushima power station.  The Japanese have asked for help from specialists to work with them to prevent the unthinkable happening.  Let's pray they manage to avert further disaster.

A lot of the people look dazed and worried, searching for family and friends.  Many have lost everything, there could be half a million homeless, at least 10,000 dead, the infrastructure severely damaged.  Japan is well prepared  for earthquakes, but there's nothing you can do about a 25-30 metre high tsunami.  It just shows how quickly the thin layer of a modern society can be swept away.

The Japanese are very resourceful people, they recovered from those nuclear explosions decades ago to become a leader in the world economy.  There's a typically Japanese stoicism and orderliness evident amidst the chaos and, in time, and with the help of the rest of the world, they will recover from this.

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