Shockwaves surge around the world from the tsunamis that heaved their power over the Indonesian islands before rolling across the Indian Ocean reeking devastation and carnage on Shi Lanka and India. The catastrophic loss of life and gruesome images not only haunt Nations now but will through centuries to come.
With the enormity of the loss of life and destruction the questions begin to emerge. Who is going to answer all these questions satisfactorily? Science? Religions? Are there even any answers to console those suffering the most from the loss of whole families and homes.
While seismologists use technology to gather data from building pressure points in the earth’s crust, there is another problem to deal with when impending natural disasters are detected, and that is mass evacuations. The Indonesian islands, Thailand, Shi Lanka, India, and neighboring countries struck by the tsunamis not only carried mass populations but many of these islands were only a meter above sea level.
All the scientific knowledge in the world is worthless unless early warning systems are effectively in place to allow time to get populations of people to higher ground, or out of the destructive path of unleashing earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes.
The earth’s crust is forever expanding, the Sumatran fault line is only one of the many pressure points seismologists monitor. There are volcanoes and fault lines rumbling deep within the earth every second of every day. For scientists to monitor this volatile earth without effective early warning systems in place only serves to collect data for histories turning pages of catastrophes.
This earth is governed by the magnetic pull of the moon. It was a full moon when the Sumatran earthquake hit, equatorial high tides were peaking to their yearly fullest over the 1200 kilometer ocean floor Sunda trench when the pressure buildup in tectonic plates gave way to the perpendicular slip in the earth’s crust. To predict there would be a fifteen meter slide between these vertical plates was not possible, only the prediction of the ensuing tsunamis from the displacement of water when the Indian plate slipped under the overriding Burma plate.
A natural disaster? God cutting loose? We may never understand, but there is one clear image arising from the catastrophic unleashing of Mother Nature, the world has united with one massive humanitarian cry for the effected countries, with compassion, with aid, with specialists from all fields, to begin healing, to begin the cleanup and rebuilding process for these people.
Those who survived, those who work amidst the devastation, those who look upon the shocking images sent around the world of blackened dead bodies floating grotesquely in polluted waters, these are the hearts that ache so deeply many must question if they are living ‘Hell on earth’.
We cannot begin to understand why, we can only see clearly in the aftermath we are a united human race when all is said and done.
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