Woken by a disturbing text from my mum yesterday informing me to put on BBC News; terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Ships swept on land, cars flung into buildings, and general disarray and devastation. The biggest earthquake in Japan in living memory, possibly ever. 40 lives lost and many more missing. It’s sad news. Despite being in a terrible earthquake hotspot where four tectonic plates converge, Japan is very fortunate to have the economy and infrastructure that it does. It is probably the most earthquake proof nation on earth and I know this will be no consolation to the families of the dead, but their excellent safety provisions and earthquake-proofed buildings have surely prevented the damage from being much worse.
All the folks I know that still live in Japan have posted on Facebook to say they are OK, and all I could do was click ‘like’. I tried to post a reassuring sort of status update, but couldn't think of anything that didn't sound stupid or trite. Quickly gave up on that idea. Very hard to know what to say in these sorts of situations.
It’s now just over a day since the earthquake epicentre and the recorded death toll has risen dramatically, and there have been explosions and a state of emergency declared at the Fukushima nuclear power stations. It seems silly to go into the details like this. I really just want to say that I’m thinking of the people of Japan and if I could do something to help I would. There isn’t much else to say.
11 March 2011