It's only been two weeks since I posted about the devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch and now here I am again, glued to the television set, looking on in horror as another country is laid low by mother nature's power. Last time it was my home country, this time it is the home country of my sister-in-law. Luckily, all of her family and all of her friends are accounted for and safe, there were a few tense hours when she wasn't able to reach a friend of hers who lives near one of the nuclear power plants that has been having issues but as luck would have it she was in another part of Japan entirely and was fine.
|Screen capture of the status update|
that alerted me to the news.
After calling my sister-in-law to make she knew and could check on her family and friends, I turned on the BBC World Service. It was already showing coverage of the quake and that's where I learned that it wasn't just an earthquake but a terrible tsunami was in progress. Within the first few minutes I was watching they upgraded it from a 7.6 to an 8.4 to an 8.9 on the richter scale and the phrase "Super Quake" and "The Big One" started being thrown around. Forget studying. I spent the rest of the afternoon glued to the news footage, a constant onslaught of horrific images and facts that were hard to absorb and truly comprehend. My sister-in-law came over for dinner that night and we spent a while longer in front of the news until we both got to saturation point and agreed to turn it off and watch something light-hearted for a mental break. I've been rationing my consumption of it ever since. Of course I care but I don't think it is necessarily wise or helpful to sit through looped repetitive coverage of the same thing over and over and over. I know it's what a lot of people like to do when there is a big event like this but I don't.
|Pictures of the devastation|
Image credit: BBC
If you're wondering how to help, there are a bunch of international aid agencies that have sprung into action. I got this link from a blog post on the same subject by Eileen over at Sincerely, Eileen which seems to be mainly for those residing in America but the same agencies will likely have branches wherever you're living so make sure you check in with The Red Cross, Save the Children and places like that.
Just in case I missed the lesson from Christchurch (I didn't) this only reinforced the concept that life is unpredictable and not to be taken for granted. I plan on switching off the TV and logging off the internet a bit more and spending even more time reading, playing with my dog and hugging my husband. I sincerely hope that my life remains normal and uninterrupted by this kind of disaster and I don't plan on living a life where I keep looking over my shoulder - I just want to make sure mentally I'm here, in my life, enjoying the many blessings I have.
My thoughts are with you Japan, and with everyone all over the world who is suffering the effects of natural or man-made disasters.