Obsessed With Disaster (don’t live round here)

Animation of 2004 Indonesia tsunami Source: NO...
End is nigh?

I’m glued to the TV watching our 24/7 news station broadcasting the horrific devastation caused by the Japan earthquake/tsunami yesterday afternoon. I get sick watching a wall of water essentially sweeping up cars, trees, buildings and no doubt countless bodies in a complex mess of debris, mud and water. They say 98 have already been killed (this is a 1.00am AEST), I’m sure this will go up by some astronomically sickening amount which may leave the sentiment of this post, greatly under stated. I say killed as opposed to 98 people have died… why? It’s like they’ve been murdered really, you know, unexpected, completely for no good reason whatsoever, and senseless. Mother nature is the biggest fucking mass murderer of all time. While I’m typing I hear in the background that 200 to 300 bodies have washed up on a beach in Sendai.. the toll rises. And again, another update indicating that possibly 10k are missing. It’s going to be really bad. I visited Japan a few years back and came back feeling 2 things, one, it was the only place other than my city of birth that I could ever imagine living in (specifically Tokyo) and two,  I’m still yet to meet people more accommodating and friendly that continuously went well out of their way to help out a stupid tourist who always managed to get lost and read badly from a $10 Japanese phrase book. This makes me sadder.

This part of the world has truly been victimised in recent times. By recent, I don’t mean the past few year.. we’re talking like days/weeks.

Australia is just recovering from its cities and towns disappearing underwater, killing over 30 people with another 9 or 10 missing. Again, no reason… just rain, then dams break and families drown. I heard this story about a mother with a baby in arms, trying to hold on to her other young child, who gets washed away in front of her – I don’t think you come back from this type of trauma. This part of the world has essentially be transported into the Stone Age and recovery (at least physical), will take years. When did this happen 10 Jan 2011

Christchurch, an earthquake not as strong as the one yesterday in Japan.. but, it goes right through the 2nd most populated city in NZ, during working hours, ensuring maximum carnage. It could have happened at 2am and not taken out so many people.. but it didn’t. I’m watching this again on live 24/7 news channels while eating lunch at a cafe. Everyone stops eating, some people cry, one girl desperately grabs her phone with great speed and nervously punches in a number which I’m guessing is an attempt to call friends or family. I overheard her talking, and she broke down after successfully making contact with what appears to be her mother. Meanwhile on TV, I’m watching a woman who was the rooftop of a building during the earthquake, she’s hysterical obviously and I later find out is one of only a handful of survivors from a completely populated office building, that now looks like a stack of pancakes. Most disturbing I hear the broadcast update…  “we’ve just been informed that there are no more available ambulances in Christchurch”, more cries emanate from the cafe. This is evident by the fact that most people helping out in the rescue effort don’t have EMT, police or fireman uniforms but are regular people in business suits, construction gear, students etc pulling the living and the dead from debris. Death toll over 166 and expected to be over 200. And 33 killed in a cathedral – I guess no place is safe. Occurred 22 Feb 2011.

If you still don’t believe living in the Asia-Pacific region isn’t bad for you health…. the below happened in only the last 7 years.

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami – 230k killed, on Boxing Day… right
2008 Cyclone Myanmar – 146k killed, especially after their government ignored warnings days earlier
2008 Sichuan (China) earthquake – 87k killed
2005 Kashmir earthquake – 79k killed

.. still obsessed with death (toll) I guess… saddened mostly.


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