Sunday, December 26, 2004

USGS: Warnings could have saved thousands | CNET

USGS: Warnings could have saved thousands | CNET

This is indeed a big tragedy when more than 14 thousand people have perished in this colossal disaster. But there were a couple of bigger tragedies I saw.

One is in this site. Warnings could have saved thousands of people. When in the Bay Area, I used to check the USGS website once a week sometimes. Since I am a regular browser, this could have come to my attention. I (or anybody else) could have called people in TV stations and so on and lots of lives could have been saved.

Even in this age of satellite TV and the Internet, it is amazing to see that warnings cannot be communicated to people. A TV station apparently told people that everything was OK after the mild tremors experienced in Chennai. Why could they simply not go to the USGS web site which, IMO, is simply the best resource for earthquakes and their after effects ? Well, people will know now. But at what cost ?

I was just thinking the day before that with all this uncontrolled and ugly growth everywhere, that it was just a question of when and not if Nature would retaliate. Retaliated She has.

The worse tragedy I saw was in the minds of people. People have lost all their humanity even in the face of such a huge tragedy. The worst of the West has come to us. The New Indian Express carried articles on how the Annual Music Sabhas of Chennai continued their programs with absolutely no qualms even after more than 200 people had died in their own city. "Who cares for poor fishermen?" was one beast's retort. Another insensitive brute said that India could afford to lose people. How would it have been if it were that moron's family or himself that had perished? He would have wept with fear and horror when being swept away by the waves. He should realize that he too will die one day. These retorts are not of a stoic kind - but of the boorish one. This death of humanity in the people of Chennai is a far bigger tragedy than the physical deaths of so many innocent people.

Another ugly aspect of this incident was the Tamil Video Channels trying to increase their TRP points by portraying the survivors and kin of the victims. One guy apparently thrust the microphone into the face of a woman who was weeping at the death of her children. Have some sensitivity, people! Why can't you think of how the poor children would have died? I suppose that this is the state of the Media everywhere in the world. I for one have reduced my time watching TV for the past three-four weeks. It is really a blessing.

It was a better situation in Bangalore as far as humanity went. I was attending a large gathering where a Swamiji presided. He made it a point to tell the audience that such a tragedy had occurred. It managed to take the color off the event - but that was a must, IMO, in the face of such an event. There were donations given by the Swamiji as well as the other people on stage towards the victims of the Tsunami. Everybody I knew was really shaken. Not like people in Chennai who continued to revel in shopping at Spencer's plaza and in music concerts.

|| sarve janAH sukhino bhavantu||

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course, this comment does not apply to all people in Chennai but a selfish few who, I hope, are in a minority.