Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tofino Tsunami Shake Down

So, things have calmed down after Friday's excitement. We watch the horrifying images from Japan however, both with compassion and concern, but also with a bit of "phew." It is somewhat stunning to see what could happen in a country that is possibly the most prepared in the world when it comes to earthquakes and tsunamis. You can be prepared, but nothing will actually stop them. (Or predict their precise arrival, especially in the case of earthquakes.)

Geoff Johnson of Long Beach Radio has done a good overview of the event as it played out here - and he was most helpful during the entire event - so take a look at his post. I especially appreciate and agree with this:

I have mixed feelings as a result of this experience though... There were some disappointments. Many large media outlets reported with headlines referring to "Tsunami Warnings" for British Columbia. The term "Tsunami Warning" in emergency preparedness terms carries with it a message of evacuation and imminent large scale inundation. There was never a true warning for British Columbia and that was a difficult message to share with concerned locals when some national media was reporting them. There were also flaws in the social media coverage with stories being misquoted, and premature messages of the advisory being canceled. It seems, while a variety of news sources are an essential component of free speech and help us to maintain our "freedom" and "democracy" a chorus of shouts, eager to get the story FIRST in stead of RIGHT could have to capacity to cause great harm in a lot of situations. And please, don't report the body count every ten minutes for a disaster that has obviously killed tens of thousands. Seeing images like we have of Japan and reporting "at least 39 dead" is just stupid.

Hopefully, with each event we will learn something to make us as well-prepared. Certainly all of the earthquakes in recent months - Chile, New Zealand and now Japan - will finally bring it home to people.

The Globe and Mail had this to say about the event.

1 comment:

  1. Adrienne, great blog!

    Re: the triple disasters in Japan, I think the image that I'll take to my grave is the early TV footage: that great force of water erasing all in its path. It was so surreal, it looked computer generated.

    And what broke me down was that at the bottom of the TV screen, I could see a few drivers on the road, and I just knew they were not going to beat that wave.

    Take care, my friend.

    Shelley (p.s. I'm spending July 10-August 7 on Hornby Island -- can't wait)