http://www.blogger.com/logout.g Lex Petros: After the great quake...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

After the great quake...

I remember only a few weeks before the 9.0 Richter scale Tohoku quake just off the east coast of the Oshika Peninsula, Christchurch, New Zealand was shook by a big one, although paling in comparison with the recent quake in Japan.
It seems like the Pacific Ring of Fire's tempest is brewing deep within the bowels of the earth and with greater frequency than ever observed. Japan always had to be wary of quakes. In 1923, the Great Kanto quake almost levelled most of Tokyo and was the impetus for developing advance warning sensors and quake-resistant buildings and technologies.
The death toll now is between 2,000 to 5,000 with the number growing as many bodies are discovered in rubbles and hard-hit areas near the epicentre.
It was not so long ago when great Indonesian quake resulted in a tsunami which hit Indonesia, and ripple all over the Indian Ocean striking Sri Lanka, India and even Malaysia on December 26, 2004, Thank God my friends in the Maldives were spared of any serious damage or worse, injury or death. Ironically, the salvation was through an immense sea-wall system which the Japanese had built for the Maldivians in 2002 as a gesture of bilateral goodwill- probably anticipated the off chance a giant quake off the Indonesia coasts could be powerful enough to send waves of destruction to the Maldivian archipelago.
What's unnerving for me about these disasters is that the fact my mum can sense what she describes as "a sort of uncomfortable buzzing in my head" just days before the quake. Perhaps she has the gift of clairvoyance or perhaps some sort of premonition. For me, sometimes I perceive momentary lapses into what I can describe it as "spinning around" before something happens. The Friday quake however was not caught by any "psychic senses" (if any).
The Japanese are struggling to prevent a nuclear event at the Fukushima Daishi reactor facilities, tirelessly attacking the burning or overheated nuclear rods with sea water from air and land. The ionizing radiation has probably sealed some of the workers' doom despite what local news agencies say about the radiation levels. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster comes to mind. Many were exposed to radiation doses which were 100 times more than Fukushima and many died to prevent radioactive particles from reaching the nearby towns and cities in Russia and parts of Europe.
Back in Japan, news agencies reported recently that radiation has been found in food, and the mostly likely iodine-131 which is absorbed by your thyroid glands. Having done some reading on the subject, apparently the best way to avoid its absorption is to ingest iodine pills (the one with the non-lethal isotopes) to saturate your thyroid glands so that the radioactive iodine will just pass through your system with minimal retention.
I admire the people and governments whose relief efforts are pouring in to Japan.
What I find completely revolting is some first lady making mindless statements; implying that the recent quake was a result of Japan's lack of studies in environmental factors and go-green technologies. Just days after our local news agency Berita Harian apologizes for publishing an-insensitive caricature of Ultraman running away from Tokyo with a giant wave closing in, our premier's wife had to embarrass the lights of the nation.

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