Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Scare

Yesterday, March 11, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 shook Japan's premier city, Tokyo, spurring a devastating tsunami of about 10 meters along its coastline areas. According to Reuters, it was the strongest earthquake to hit Japan in 100 years and the 5th recorded deadly earthquake to hit the world since 1948.

Immediately, Philvocs sent a Tsunami alert warning to 19 Philippine provinces situated on the coastal areas of the country. We were also told in the office to go home at 5:00 pm because of the impending disaster. But since I still have a class at 6:00pm I went to Ateneo to ask if there was a message to call off the classes but there was none so I proceeded to the 7th floor for our workshop-seminar.

But I was thinking of my family back home. Since my home province, Surigao del sur, is one of the 19 provinces mentioned by Philvocs, I was worried with how the calamity would affect them. My mother texted me that they were told to evacuate but since it was already evening and the danger of going to the mountain is more real, they stayed behind, besides the Pacific Ocean (which we can directly see from our house) remains calm all through out.

Haaay, Thank God everything settled that night and Tsunami did not ravage the Philippine shore.
 The beach line near our house facing the mighty Pacific Ocean.

I am used into this scenario, when I was still growing up in Surigao del sur, I experienced almost all kinds of disaster most people did not experience. Typhoon is the most common one, in my grade school years I witnessed some of the strongest typhoons hitting our place where houses collapsed. We would often went downstairs and go to the safest area of the house because the ancestral home of my grandparents was directly facing the sea so the the wind sometimes slammed aggressively on top of the roof. Then there were several tidal waves that followed, bellowing waves measuring 4 feet high, but these scenes never scare us then, in fact we were delighted to see those dancing waves rushing to the shore, watching big waves from the Pacific Ocean running through the road near the neighborhood made us feel ecstatic. It was a wonderful sight, we were happy to see those waves. It's only now that the scene scares me because of the dreadful effect of tsunami.
We used to frolic around the shoreline near our home. In this photo with my brother and cousin, we were walking along the beach one December afternoon to feel the soothing air coming from the Pacific Ocean.

Then there were several scary earthquakes, but we never think about tsunami because back then the only words we know following typhoons and strong earthquakes are Tidal Waves. During those years, people in Surigao were not really bothered about the danger of tsunami since we'd no direct access to the media, no news or whatever since we still had no electricity during those times, so we just treated tsunami as part of urban tales. Everyday I would marvel at the picturesque mountains and the beautiful relaxing scenery of the Pacific Ocean with happiness and tranquility because I always believe they are not dangerous.

Now nothing has change with my belief, I am very confident God protects. He will never forsake us. Back home, there were countless times that we were saved from disasters because of intense prayers. We would do "aurora" a form of early morning prayers conducted through a procession around the place participated by almost all people, we would recite prayers and would march along the shorelines. We should trust God, He is more powerful than those natural disasters, it is through prayers that we can find peace of mind.

0 comments: