Friday, March 18, 2011

Tsunami…a tragedy…and a people with dignity....

(Photo US Navy 13 March 2011)
PACIFIC OCEAN (March 13, 2011) A Japanese home is seen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Ships and aircraft from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group are searching for survivors in the coastal waters near Sendai, Japan.

The world has been watching with awe and horror the unfolding tragedy in Japan. I think the vision and commentary surrounding this natural disaster will remain with many of us for years and we will recall exactly where we were, and what we were doing, at the time that it occurred.

I was travelling to the airport to meet a friend. He is very interested in geography, weather and its repercussions and so it was with a sense of almost trepidation that I relayed to him the news that I had heard on the ABC radio station I had been listening to in the car. But even then, although most of the regular radio programmes were interrupted for the live commentary of the earthquake the broadcaster was only just hearing, and relaying news of the tsunami. And of course my friend had been in the air at the time of nature's onslaught.

Over the next few days we watched the television news showing the quiet calm of the Japanese people affected by the tragedy. The sense of community working together; queuing for hours without complaint to get rudimentary groceries, petrol, water; and sharing and caring for each other in evacuation shelters. The word that came to mind was dignity.

The link below is to an excellent French speaking blog. You can translate it with Google translate or a similar application. I commend it to you. The honesty and simplicity of emotion from the writer who was involved with a UN agency at the time of the Banda Aceh tsunami and assisted on the ground after that disaster, spoke to me of the true horror…and reminded me to admire a people who confront such horror with a sense of innate dignity.

Here is the link .

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