As many of you have probably heard or read by now, Japan is in the grips of Nature's less gentle side. Indeed, an 8.9-level earthquake just hit the country off the coast of Sendai, the city where I taught English between 2003-5. To say the damage is extensive would be the understatement of the century.
Sendai-shi, the beautiful "City of Trees", has been practically, and quite literally, wiped off the map.
I spent the better part of the morning trying to contact friends that still live there. So far, no news from Sendai proper, as is to be expected, but I did hear from a few people in Tokyo, as well as those abroad who heard from their own ex-pat friends/relatives.
Here is a look at just how powerless we are in the face of the Earth itself, or, in this case, water:
No matter how advanced and prepared we are, we can do nothing when Nature decides to assert itself. Japan is renowned for its earthquake preparedness, but tsunamis are a tricky thing, as are any water disasters. One cannot control it, only deal with its wake.
My heart and prayers go out to Japan, and especially to Miyagi-ken and Sendai-shi residents. May you find the will to survive and the energy to pick up the pieces. The human spirit is stronger than many of us may think.