Wow. This week has been one that I will not forget. It started off with me spending time with my daughter as she was home for spring holiday. Lots of laughter and that great feeling of having one of my kids at home.
Then, I awoke to the tragic news of the huge earthquake in Japan. I don’t even pretend to know all the logistics of the Richter scale and the strength of earthquakes. I had earlier kept an eye of the happenings in Christchurch, by far a huge and destructive earthquake. But…according to news reports this one in Japan was literally thousands of times worse than that one. I have been totally awe struck. Not only was the news of the quake horrible, but I watched on television as the tsunami struck the Japanese coastline. One scene showed the water advancing on the land as a truck on a roadway hurried to get away (and it didn’t). I also saw teensy objects on the roadway scurrying away from the water…and about the third time I watched I realized these were people…directly and inescapably caught in the path of the huge wave.
I worried about all the tiny Pacific islands in the path of the tsunami as it crossed the ocean and radiated out in all directions. Some of these islands are not much above sea level…were any of these affected? I pray not.
The enormity of the event was brought home when docks, land and people along the western US coastline and in Hawaii were affected. People on the mainland were swept to sea and one life was lost. And this is so very far from the original place the tsunami began…it traveled in speeds comparable to those of a jet…across an entire ocean!
But this will affect Japan for many, many months and possibly years into the future. Not only are entire villages and prefectures wrought with tragedy, but trains carrying passengers have been lost to the tsunami, not yet found. Ships were lost or driven inland. Homes and farms were overrun and tossed about like toys. Although over 200 miles away, Tokyo has experienced many violent aftershocks along with the rest of the island nation. Power is limited, nuclear plants are sources of extreme concern and lifestyles have been clearly shaken.
My heart goes out to all who have been victims to this major destruction. It makes me realize how tiny and powerless we can sometimes be on this planet of ours…and reminds me how precious each day we have can be,