Teresa Francis, 11 March ’11
I can only guess how they are feeling right now. It was a sunny spring day, and I’m sure they expected to have a pleasant time. I’m sure someone my age was on her laptop, doing her English homework, or studying for her Maths exam. Friday in Japan is equivalent to a Thursday in the U.A.E, which means it was the last day of the week, and the beginning of the weekend, so I’m sure at least a couple of families had plans for their evening. I can’t say for sure, but I’m sure that most of them didn’t expect the earthquake, or at least the magnitude of the earthquake, that hit Japan earlier today. But if you think that that was it, and then you better think again. After the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan today afternoon, a tsunami of thirteen feet struck the east coast of Japan. The tsunami swept away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control. A local news report said at least 15 people were killed, though the government has confirmed only 5 deaths.
After the main earthquake, 19 aftershocks, all more than 6.0 magnitudes have been felt. Japan is a country prone and used to earthquakes. Most schools and offices are well informed on the safety procedures in case of an earthquake, but seismologists say that this one is one of the largest quakes to hit Japan for many years. Waves of muddy waters swept over farmland near the city of Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, as cars attempted to drive away. Sendai airport, north of Tokyo, was overflowing with cars, trucks, buses and thick mud deposited over its runways. Horrific footage has been all over the news, showing the water, polluted with debris like cars and boats flooding the farmland.
After all this, there’s more bad news. Tsunami warnings have been issued all over the Pacific, and the warning also includes Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Central and South America. In Russia, 11,000 people have been evacuated from areas that could be affected by the tsunami. As I write, people are being found dead. The damage caused by this one earthquake is going to affect around 50 countries. It took only one Friday afternoon, to cause possibly billions of dollars’ worth repairs in Japan, and, after the tsunami shall hit other coastal areas, possibly millions of dollars’ worth repairs in other countries as well.
I’m afraid, in the past; I have often been a victim to ignorance. I am not regular in my news reading, and I do not watch the news on television often. But I’ve realized that you cannot ignore news. You cannot shut out negative news because you wish to. You can only hope for the best, and yes, its cliché time, live your life to the fullest. Even with the little time we have, we must try to make our mark in this world. Because tomorrow, an earthquake may strike right here. My heart goes out to those suffering in Japan, and for the unknown future, I truly hope for the best.