Scary Forces of Nature

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For the past few days, the world's attention has been riveted to the horrific damage wrought on Japan by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami. With another earthquake after a month with a magnitude of 7.1 near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan. Another tsunami alert was given.

One could only watch as video footage showed 13-foot waves sweep away almost everything in its path. In Yahoo!, pictures of the destruction can only leave heads shaking at the terrible force of nature.

Fears were further heightened by the damage wrought on some of Japan's nuclear plants, which caused explosions at a reactor in the Fukushima prefecture. While the reactor itself was not damaged by the blast, it's still not reassuring to a world that has seen the damage a radioactive explosion can cause. The world can only watch,wait, pray and see whether Japanese efforts to control the situation are successful.

In the Philippines, questions are once more raised about the government's capability to deal with such disasters. During the flash floods brought by typhoon Ondoy in 2009, the government was caught with its pants down, and its lack of rescue equipment and training was exposed. The Rizal Park hostage tragedy showed that our law enforcement officials badly lack training in dealing with difficult situations. If the earthquake and tsunami had hit the Philippines, what would have happened?

The disaster in Japan is a reminder to us and our government officials that preparedness is the key to dealing with events such as these. Let's learn the lessons that need to be learned from this situation, so, if it comes to us, we'll be ready.

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