I was reading some news on the Internet tonight when I noticed that today is the one year anniversary of the Asian Tsunami which killed over two hundred thousand people. I guess it's true what old folks always say, that time goes by much faster when you get older, because it doesn't seem like it's been a whole year since this disaster struck.
People underestimate the power of water at their own peril, but these folks didn't have any warning and were hit completely off guard by this giant Tsunami which was caused by a large earthquake off the west coast of Indonesia. The scope of the death toll in this one natural disaster is still overwhelming to me, even after a years period of time. This disaster will be taught in history books for generations to come.
There has been talk of a new warning system for the Indian Ocean that is similar to the one operated by the United States and Canada in the Pacific Ocean and I'm pretty sure one will be put into place in all oceans around the world over the next few years. There are continuing worries that a major earthquake off the Pacific coast could cause a Tsunami there and lay waste to hundreds of miles of California beachfront and could kill as many as one million people in coastal areas of southern California.
Most beach areas in California are very heavly populated and I wonder how much a good an early warning system would really help the people that live in that area? When watching the traffic congestion caused by the folks leaving the Houston, Texas area after Hurricane Rita, I can only image how much worse the congestion would be in a much larger city like Los Angeles, California.
The fact that millions of people could die in a Pacific Ocean Tsunami is something we as a nation may have to accept as a possibility because it would take days, if not weeks to get everyone evacuated from these areas and there's no way anyone could learn of such an event this far in advance. Experts say that once a Tsunami gets rolling, it can reach speeds of 500 miles per hour before it slams into land. At that speed it could cross an entire ocean in a matter of hours.
An early warning system WILL save lives, it's just the fact that it won't save everyone is something we all need to be aware of. In fact, there could be little to no warning if the earthquake hit only 100 miles of so off the west coast of the United States or Canada.
I remember reading of entire family units being killed by last years Asian Tsunami. A complete family line and history removed from the earth forever. What a terrible tragedy. I still remember seeing video that was shot by people that didn't survive the flood waters, but their cameras did. It's a very eerie experience watching video, shot by someone that is about to die and doesn't even know it. I sometimes have dreams about these folks and wonder what they must have been thinking when those large waves gobbled them up and pushed them miles away in a matter of seconds.
I pray that the survivors of last years Christmas Tsunami in Asia will somehow, someday be able to get their lives back to some kind of normal. Knowing a little bit about "post traumatic stress disorder", these folks may be doing fine now, but in five or ten years they may need mental treatment that might not be available because so much time has passed. I hope their governments won't forget that some of these folks will never be right again and will need treatment for the rest of their lives.