Friday, December 7, 2012

Overlapping Disasters

I woke this morning to news of a damaging earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan. The tsunami struck so quickly there was no time to evacuate the damaged nuclear power station in Fukushima, though in practice, workers only needed to climb one flight of stairs from the basement to get out of harm’s way.

Today’s earthquake will probably count as only a minor disaster after pavement and bridges are checked, but still, it seems that disaster news has become so frequent it is overlapping. The death toll exceeds 500 in a Philippines typhoon, and there is continuing news from a dozen other disasters of recent weeks.

There is always talk about doing better in the physical preparations for known disasters, and we may also need a more effective approach in recovering from the news of disasters. For many people, the report of a disaster casts a shadow over the whole day, and if this happens on more days than not, that is a problem in itself.