According to the TOI today, around 24000 words have already been written about the tsunami tragedy and I probably shouldn’t add to the count. I have been at a loss for words. Switching on the television after coming back from a trip to Hampi on Sunday and watching the pictures and hearing the news headlines about the death and destruction, especially so close to home, was devastating.
Ironically, standing amongst the ruins of Hampi, I wondered at the beauty of Mother nature, while elsewhere, she showed her enormous fury by destroying everything in her path.
A post from Madman: At times like these, I’m glad I’m an atheist. I’d find it very difficult to accept that a “God” would cause something like this.”
It’s difficult really. How does one justify this kind of a scale of destruction?
Opinion Journal: “The principal victims of the tidal waves in Sri Lanka and elsewhere Sunday were the poor people living in coastal shanty towns. The wealthier countries around the Pacific Rim have an established early-warning system against tsunamis, while none currently exists in South Asia.”
Dilip D’Souza writes about how the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Los Angeles detected the quake that caused these killer waves, at least an hour before they hit Thailand and Malaysia. They issued an alert for the Pacific countries. Charles McCreery, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Honolulu said this about the possibility of warning the other countries in the region. “We tried to do what we could but we don’t have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world.”
This is indeed unfortunate, especially since we boast of living in a connected world these days. And they were not able to contact other countries, when all it would have taken was probably a phone call.
It also brings into focus a moot point. That while we have adequate aid (according to the government, at least) that is flowing in after the event, unfortunately, we did not have in place what we really needed in terms of warning systems and detection technology. If not to prevent the event, to at least bring down the scale of the tragedy itself.