Vortex off Japan's coast

When I heard of the tsunami that Japan was being afflicted by yesterday, I dismissed it initially. After all, newspapers have mentioned of a mini one, not more than 60cm high, striking Japan just a day prior. It was not until I flicked the TV on and headed to the BBC that I finally realised the devastation that has been wrought. Images of Sendai being drowned in a 10m tsunami, amongst others, broke my heart.

Japan has done immensely well coming to the earthquake. All their lives they’ve been trained for such a situation, and it came down to this. Buildings also largely survived the 8.9 jolt. It’s what came after that which was utterly terrifying.

I watched with abject horror as a wall of water, apparently careening towards Sendai, rolled over sea and into land. And the wave swallowed everything – buildings, farmland, rivers, roads. And it went up to 6 miles inland.

For hours (yes, literally) I watched Skynews, CNN, BBC, NHK, trying to grasp the events which were occurring all over Northeast Japan. And that was only the beginning…

If there’s anything worse than an earthquake and tsunami combined, it’d be an earthquake, tsunami AND a possible Chernobyl replay. Mother kept exclaiming when news broke of a possible leakage. She exclaimed more when this happened:

“Oh dear”, she cried out. “Oh no, that’s it.”

And now there is a low level radiation leak at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant I. Fires in the oil refinery near Tokyo are yet to be put out; aftershocks are expected for much of March, and tsunami warnings are still abound. Possibly over a thousand are dead; thousands more unaccounted for.

Still, there are bright spots: the resilience of the Japanese people, their incredible level of preparedness, and the government’s frankness and transparency of the situation. In days as dark as these, morale is the last thing that needs to be lost.

In conjunction with the ongoing situation, I find it apt to present this piece. I don’t know why, but I find it most suited to situations like these, where beauty is found even in the harshest of conditions. It’s the Beautiful Swan.

Just a clean piano piece. And it can tear you up. (as in ear, not air)

I salute you, Japan, for your strength and courage. And I pray for you in this difficult time. Please be safe. Please.

Sleep safe, Japan.