I am, for once, lost for words when news reached me about the 東北地方太平洋沖地震 (Tōhoku Region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake). The 9.0 magnitude (a mega-earthquake by modern standard) rocked Japan on Friday, 11th March 2011. The earthquake was initially measured at 7.9 on the Richter scale and later upgraded to 8.9 on the Richter scale before scientists finally putting the magnitude at 9.0 on the Richter scale.
The mega-earthquake triggered tsunami warnings. A number of cities in Japan in the Iwate Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture were hit by tsunamis, some reportedly 10 metres high. It has been reported that up to 10,000 people are killed, and another 10,000 still missing.
What began with the earthquake (and its subsequent aftershocks) and followed by the tsunami led to another tragedy in the form of a possible nuclear meltdown as a result of explosions at the Fukushima power plants. The danger this meltdown can cause is no doubt a reason for global concern.
The triple tragedy (mega-earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant explosions) resulted in the worst ever crisis Japan has ever faced since World War II. When I got news of the mega-earthquake, my thoughts quickly turned to my friends who are in Japan (both Malaysians and Japanese). I pray that they are safe in the midst of this trying times.
My thoughts are with those who have been badly hit by these tragedies, though I can only watch from afar. I am very sure that once the dust is settled, Japan will once again rise - just like it did after the devastation of World War II. In the meantime, we also have the responsibility to assist them in rebuilding in any way possible.