The waves continue
It’s supposed to snow later today. So once again, I don my scarf. I’m hoping this will be the very last time I have to use my scarf. Somehow, it’s just hard for me to associate scarves with the month of March, although I know many would argue that. I associate March with the coming of Spring, kite-flying, mine and my daughter’s birthdays, and pretty pastel Easter eggs (even if the eggs are just a prequel to the month of April).
The tales of the rescue efforts in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake are just chilling, but they consume me. I simply cannot stop reading about them. Headline story on Fox News this morning is “Tsunamis Sweep Away Entire Towns in Chile”. There seems to be much talk about the earthquake, aftershocks and rescue efforts – but there’s really not much talk about these gargantuan waves that are still taking lives.
In Talcahuano, a family sat huddled together on the floor of their seaside home. Their only light a lantern, listening to a battery-operated radio – they were warned by firefighters to remain calm and stay inside. No warnings of a tsunami, until it slammed into their house – sweeping the family under water. The home was crushed by two giant containers that came in with the sea, and the family was separated by the currents. A third container actually further prevented more family members from being drug out to sea. The family desperately tried to gather back together, and did – a mother and father, their 11-year old daughter, their 76-year old father, and a sister and their family. But still missing is their 76-year old mother.
Story after horrifying story continues. How about the group of 40 retirees vacationing at a seaside campground in the village of Pelluhue. The bus they piled into was swept out to sea, along with trucks and houses. Only five bodies have been recovered – at least 30 still remain missing. Two waves in this instance were reported to be 6 meters (18 feet) high, and a third being even higher. I cannot imagine the magnitude of these waves.
Reading stories like this just rips my heart out.
Earthquakes aren’t the only events inflicting damage, the resulting tsunamis are sweeping away homes, businesses and entire ports and towns. Through their defense minister, the country has now admitted it was a huge mistake for the Navy not to issue Tsunami warnings. There were port captains who knew enough to call warnings – in doing so they reportedly saved hundreds of lives.
I can’t help but think back to those nightmares I sometimes have of the huge tidal waves. Any issue you may have going on in your life right now cannot begin to compare to the sheer devastation and gut-wrenching grief and despair down in this country, or any country affected by a massive earthquake and it’s accompanying tsunamis. I only have to glance in front of me to see how blessed I am at this moment… and realize how quickly it could all be wiped away – in the blink of an eye.