Friday 11 March 2011

Step away from the water

Well, here we are, all around the world at the same time watching the same pictures, listening to the same NHK man providing the commentary for the dreadful earthquake in Japan and that terrifying tsunami - which we've just heard may reach this far. Being parochial for a moment, I do hope it doesn't wash ashore at North Beach and New Brighton, Taylor's Mistake and Sumner: it would simply finish off those eastern suburbs of Christchurch.

It's kind of laughable, seeing the film of cars washing down a river, people running across fields as the wave approaches, the fallen buildings, the huge fire at the oil refinery, and hearing reports of three, five, eight people dead. It's going to be thousands, surely. Whether the size of the quake is 8.4 or 8.9 - they haven't settled on a figure yet, less than 2 hours afterwards - is immaterial. Given the way the Richter scale works, either way it's an immense earthquake: an incredible 8000 times bigger than the Christchurch one. And in such a populous area!

It's awesome too, how far the effects are spreading: all around the Pacific. China, California, Peru, Chile, here, Australia, Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia, the Cooks, Indonesia... even Russia. All places I've been, all people I've rubbed shoulders with, smiled at, eaten with. We're all in the same boat, watching and waiting.


the queen said...

Why aren't you running for higher ground right NOW?

TravelSkite said...

Fortunately, I live on a hill. Pretty rough for places like Nauru, though, where they don't have hills.


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