Tōhoku tragedy remembered

Let us spare thoughts of compassion for the victims of this enormous calamity.

On 11 March 2011, at 2.46PM local time, a catastrophic 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan near Sendai, causing widespread damages and triggering a powerful tsunami that struck coastal villages and towns with great ferocity.

The nuclear power plant at neighbouring Fukushima was severely damaged, causing a reactor meltdown that compounded the disaster.  Consider some of the staggering effects caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami:

  • 15,894 people lost their lives
  • 6,156 people were injured
  • 2,546 people went missing
  • 127,290 buildings collapsed totally
  • 272,788 buildings partially collapsed
  • 747,989 buildings were damaged
  • US$235 billion in economic losses – the most costly natural disaster in history.

The incredible moment when the huge earthquake-triggered tsunami struck the east coast of Japan with deadly force.

Let us pause for a while after reading this, and spare thoughts of compassion for the victims of this enormous calamity.  Pray for those who perished – may they rest in Peace.  For those who lost their loved ones, pray that they have strength to carry on with life as best they can.

Reflect too on the truth of ‘Aniccā’ – impermanence.  One moment in time, everything in life seems to go on as usual.  The next moment, our lives may be altered forever.  Such is the reality of living.

The Buddha taught that in this ‘Samsāric’ existence, there is no stability at all – where conditions can remain unchanged and static.  Therefore, let us heed His teachings and practise the Dhamma, so that we may soon be liberated from this state of ‘Dukkhā’ (unsatisfactoriness).  May all beings be well and safe!