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Need more than sympathy

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 26, 2018, 12:13 am IST
Updated : Dec 26, 2018, 12:13 am IST

Man’s helplessness against the forces of nature is never more emphasised than in calamity.

A tsunami without warning, triggered by a chunk of the Anak Krakatau volcano slipping into the ocean, ripped into parts of Indonesia, taking lives and destroying structures and turning homes upside down for thousands of people. (Photo: AFP)
 A tsunami without warning, triggered by a chunk of the Anak Krakatau volcano slipping into the ocean, ripped into parts of Indonesia, taking lives and destroying structures and turning homes upside down for thousands of people. (Photo: AFP)

Man’s helplessness against the forces of nature is never more emphasised than in calamity. A tsunami without warning, triggered by a chunk of the Anak Krakatau volcano slipping into the ocean, ripped into parts of Indonesia, taking lives and destroying structures and turning homes upside down for thousands of people. No matter how long they have lived in the Pacific Rim of Fire or known the dangers inherent in existence on violently shifting tectonic plates and 127 volcanoes, people are always shocked by cataclysmic events played out by forces beyond comprehension. Volcanic activity may have been well recorded with all the active volcanos tracked, but even today science has no way of predicting when exactly the next eruption will happen, nor when a volcano will collapse and skip into the ocean in a massive landslide displacing the ocean’s water.

The network of detecting buys had been dysfunctional for the last seven years, says the administration somewhat sheepishly. It is said Indonesia needs a new tsunami warning system. People did not have the luxury of a bit of warning when they could head inland and save themselves. The same Anak Krakatau has been blighting the archipelago for decades, despite which the sheer poverty of the region makes it impossible for citizens to be better prepared to face a series of events over the last several years, including earlier this year when an earthquake and tsunami killed thousands.

The news of Indonesian seismic events has been sending a chill down the spines of south Indians for a decade and a half since the Asian tsunami of 2004 off Sumatra island. Nothing was more frightening than watching a popular band being washed away while performing for their fans on the beach. Apart from sympathy, what can the world do now for Indonesia is the question.

Tags: sympathy, indonesia, anak krakatau