As we all know a couple of weeks ago Japan was devastated by a massive tsunami, that was triggered by an even bigger earthquake. Cars, ships and even buildings being swept away in the Fukushima prefecture, after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake. The quake struck about 250 miles from Tokyo at a depth of 20 miles, shaking buildings in the capital for several minutes. A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure has exceeded normal levels. Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher. In one ward alone in Sendai, a port city in Miyagi prefecture, 200 to 300 bodies were found. In the center of Tokyo many people are spending the night in their offices. But thousands, perhaps millions, chose to walk home. Train services were suspended.

Even after the most violent earthquake anyone could remember the crowds were orderly and calm. The devastation is further to the north, along the Pacific coast. There a tsunami triggered by the quake reached six miles inland in places carrying houses, buildings, boats and cars with it. Outside the city in a built-up area a fire blazed across several kilometers. Japan’s ground self-defence forces have been deployed, and the government has asked the US military based in the country for help. The scale of destruction from the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan will become clear only at first light. The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists. Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate. Japanese nuclear officials said pressure inside a boiling water reactor at the plant was running much higher than normal after the cooling system failed. Officials said they might need to deliberately release some radioactive steam to relieve pressure, but that there would be no health risk.

After seeing the catastrophic damage done I think it is safe to say that it is unethical to shift focus from one of the biggest earthquakes in history to talk about saftey of nuclear plants. Many lives have been lost and even more have been ruined. There is no telling how long it will take Japan to rebuild from all this. I believe that a natural disaster is one of the worst things that can happen to a country because it is 100% unpreventable.

Advertisements