Friday, March 11, 2011

Tragedy and hope in Japan.

What a mess. The Japanese quake has damaged nuclear power plants, suspended bullet train service, closed airports. It has caused the Yen and Japanese stocks to tumble on the stock market.

It has left thousands of people without power. Likely there are also some without water. There are fires.

The current estimate is that five hundred people have been killed.

It sounds absolutely horrible until you find a sense of perspective.

This was a magnitude *8.9* earthquake. It was the second strongest ever reported. It is a clear candidate for worst earthquake of the century.

About 500 people died.

My heart does indeed go out to their families, but think about this. Had an 8.9 hit anywhere else in the WORLD other than maybe southern California, we would be counting casualties in five figures if we were lucky. Probably six.

While this is a major disaster and a tragedy, it is also a testament to the true brilliance of the Japanese. They are the world's experts at earthquake proofing...and how many lives has that knowledge saved? I can't count that high.

(Just adding a note that the predicted casualties are now between one and seven thousand with the aftershocks and tsunamis. But even so...)