Quake aftermath reveals man’s humanity to man

The pictures and videos that stream across our TVs and computers only can hint at the damage caused by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
Every new citizen video recorded by cellphone camera or amateur videographer seems to add new horror to the plight of that nation.
My aunt in the U.S. Virgin Islands called me Friday night to learn if I had heard from my son in Korea. She was worried that he might have been affected by the tsunami that spread across the whole rim of the Pacific Ocean.
I had, and he was safe.
But I wonder, as events continue to unfold, “What must a nation feel when they discover that four trains have totally disappeared as a result of the earthquake and tsunami?”
The fishing town of Minamisanriku, with a population of 17,000, was destroyed as a wall of water more than four stories in height rushed up the valley, levelling everything in its path.
On Sunday, it was estimated that 95 percent of the buildings there were destroyed. And more than 10,000 of its citizens remain missing.
Coupled with the earthquake and tsunami, Japan faces the loss of electrical generating stations and the potential failure of safeguards at its nuclear power generating stations. Each new explosion brings the fear of radioactive nuclear fallout.
And with the loss of power comes the loss of water delivery systems and transportation systems.
And with so many highways destroyed, the dispersal of troops and rescue people becomes even more difficult. By now, the hope of finding life is diminishing, and searchers are finding more and more bodies.
The death toll continues to rise.
Aftershocks spark fresh fears of additional tsunamis. Yet fear is shared with hope.
I found it interesting listening to Japan’s ambassador to Canada, Kaoru Ishikawa, as he explained that rescue workers who wished to come to his country to assist had to be self-sufficient.
In a country that already was having problems supplying water and food to its inhabitants, they would not be able to support others.
Canada’s Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) that has been organized is a natural support function to travel to Japan. It is self-sufficient and immediately can start supplying water in a devastated region.
I hope it will be dispatched quickly.
Yet for all the troubles Japan is facing, I marvel at the resilience of the Japanese people. With little or no food, they are sharing their meagre food supplies. We are not seeing the looting or hoarding of food. We are not seeing battles between people for water.
Hundreds of thousands are displaced, and know that there is little hope that they can salvage anything from where they lived. Together, they are facing the future in centres with no heat, little food, or water.
We are witnessing strength of character in a nation. From what I see, the way the nation and its supporters are rallying, I think this is a true example of man’s humanity to man.
We can all learn from this example.

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