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Tsunami: Lessons in Japanese, Life and Death.

December 27th, 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

Tsunami or tidal wave. The secret to the human tragedy that resulted is in the word which is Japanese. Tsunami are most commonly a phenomena of the Pacific. Higher levels of seismic activity than in the Indian Ocean and recent tragedy have lead to an early warning system through the Pacific Rim. Had this extended to the countries involved yesterday many lives may have been saved.

The dead, including the western tourists, have now done something that ten minutes of education could have done for them: warned everyone that when the water runs out to sea you run inland and uphill fast. At least, the everyone who has access to media, which is, lets face it, everyone.

With satellites and internets and global blah blah, a tidal wave, or earthquake likely to cause one, could be publicized effectively even in relatively deprived areas. I wonder how many of the devastated beach bars in Thailand had internet access for example? Probably lots. Why was nothing, even cobbled together, in place? Had no academic proposed a global warning system using all channels and resources over internet technologies?

My neighbour has since yesterday provided a growing sense of incredulity in me. “An Earthquake on Boxing day?”, he asked when told of the news. Why should this be less likely on Boxing day than any other?, I find myself wondering. It is not as if this false, fake, plastic, glutinous, uncivilized, uniquely British (not any sort of compliment in my eyes) “holiday” has any religious, spiritual, planetary, physical or other known reason to be “special”.

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