The pain, damage and anguish in Japan seems so immense, I'll avoid commenting on it, but a few brief observations might contribute here:

- my thoughts and prayers go out to the Japanese people. Watching the coverage I am convinced they are among the most resilient people on earth when it comes to preparing for and dealing with tragedies such as this one. They will recover. And it goes without saying, they will learn from it, and lead the worldwide community in preparing for the next devastating earthquake. I am amazed, and relieved to see all the evidence of successful preparation:

- the video of the tsunami are horrific, but those houses bobbing in the waves, being swept across the landscape - they are intact, not in pieces as they tend to be in flooding videos in the US. A number of multistory structures survived the EQ, and the sweep of the massive tsunami. The structures survived an 8.9, giving occupants a chance to get out and seek higher ground. It sounds strange, but as nightmarish as the tsunami was, I saw hope in some of those intact structures, people staying alive. How does the saying go, chance favors the lucky and the prepared? Luck gets progressively worse the stronger the EQ - only the prepared have a chance to survive. Japanese engineers, society and legal system that adopted progressive building codes made that happen. In the US, do we have the same fortitude to do that? Why not?

- In Tokyo they were very prepared. At the subsidiary of my US employer, they had disaster kits for visitors to take with them, and they were offered shelter if they didn't want to try to make it home. Disaster kits for building visitors - why didn't I think of that? That's on my to do list for the next disaster prep committee meeting.

- video of the Self-Defense force, already deployed, rendering assistance within hours of the EQ. Video ops can be staged, but here were units of Japanese forces already responding to the EQ so shortly after. Same with tg triage stations nearer the quake. That takes some organization. It's amazing to watch, and inspiring - we should help however we can, with labor, with money, with support or prayers. With preparations in our own communities, for some future someday.

Edited by Lono (03/14/11 12:36 PM)