Friday, 18 March 2011
One can only imagine the fear those people must have felt when the earth literally moved beneath them for a staggering amount of minutes. The quake was like no other and the resulting tsunami so powerful it gobbled up anything and everything in its wake. Japan had been expecting a big earthquake for some years and felt confident that it had taken all necessary precautions to limit the effects and potential damages of such an occurrence. Japanese children, from an early age are taught how to protect themselves during earthquakes and subsequent earth tremors but nothing was to prepare Japan for the horrific turn of events in March 2011.
We all stared at our television screens in horror and disbelief as the full picture emerged. Japan had not only suffered a massive 9.1 earthquake but its coastal areas were being swallowed up by a subsequent tsunami. News agencies from around the world hurried to relay the catastrophic events, news channels followed and reported on the unfolding nightmare 24/7.
When I first saw the footage, some of it live, for a split second I imagined the houses buildings, cars, lorries and boats to be empty. It was almost as if my brain was not willing to acknowledge the true horrific implications of the images my eyes were sending to it. Maybe it is because we are so used to seeing live coverage of all sorts of disasters, that we have become insensitized to their reality. I didn`t see any people being sucked up into the monster wave as it engulfed a thousand buildings, so maybe there weren`t any. I didn`t see any bodies floating in the murky stream of debris as it snaked its way menacingly through the towns and villages, so maybe there weren`t any. I didn`t see people drowning in the ferocious waters as they claimed huge areas of Japan`s coastline, so maybe there weren`t any.
The numbers of the fatalities grew surprisingly slowly. The first report stated just a few deaths, which made the viewing of the disaster easier and less traumatic see. But as the figures grew significantly higher, I found the footage more and more heartbreaking to watch as it became blatantly obvious there were bodies swept up by the raging sea, there were people drowning in the ferocious waters, there were people, like you and I, caught up in the biggest nightmare of their lives.
Some thoughts and visualisations are too horrific for us to emotionally cope with or recognise, we force them into a deep dark place in our minds and vow never to return to them for they are just too painful to examine and acknowledge. Although we may want to know the truth, our subconscience forbids us to delve deeper for it.
And then the nuclear bombshell hit. Reactors had been damaged in the earthquake and the country was now facing a further threat to its people. A country famed for its superior techniolocal advances was being monumentally deconstructed and demolished by a force greater than itself. The wrath of Mother Nature was so severe there was no compromise, no technology with which to fight or contain her. With an act of utter defiance and astromonical power, she unleashed a foreboding and relentless warning to us all. For it is she who rules the world - not us mere mortals.