This morning, I woke up to the news of an earthquake off the coast of Japan, 8.4 (though some reporters are saying 8.9) on the scale and which has triggered a huge tsunami. We have friends over there and our thoughts are with them and their families, but of course this extends to everyone who is affected by this.
Japan is seismically active, but that doesn’t make things any easier – it just means they’re more prepared for when it happens. Clearly the effects of this quake will be felt far from Japan, including Taiwan, the Koreas, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and even Russia and South America. Melissa Chan (@melissakchan), the Chinese reporter for Al Jazeera, tweeted that she felt it in Beijing, so it’s clearly affecting mainland China, too. It hardly needs saying that the Indonesian people are also at risk.
All this, of course, makes me think about the large scale. No matter how sophisticated we humans may have become (although that depends on your point of view), no matter the technology and architecture that may be strong enough to hold up, no matter how ‘modern’ we may be: Mother Nature will have her way and there is very little, if anything, we can do to stop her. You may think this a rather flippant remark, and I apologise if it comes across the wrong way. But you only have to stand outside on a clear night and look up to recognise the limits of our progress as a species. There’s only so far we can go and only so much we can do.
The Earth is a living, breathing planet, and earthquakes happen all the time; it’s only that some of them are rather larger than others and some, such as the one in Japan today, are devastating. As a species, we have colonised the planet. It’s inevitable that people’s lives depend on where they live. Here in the UK, we’re pretty lucky. We get some eclectic weather, but earthquakes such as this one are pretty much unheard of.
Sending positive vibes to the good people of Japan, and of the surrounding areas.