A recent earthquake off the western shore of Japan, blamed for a brief tsunami warning and the injury of dozens of people, was a stark reminder of how a natural event can cause a disaster; and how decisions made by humans can exacerbate the impact of that natural event well beyond reasonable expectations.
|Photo Source: Daily Telegraph|
A major earthquake off the eastern shore of Japan in 2011 resulted in a tsunami that killed thousands and displaced millions. I've addressed Japan's vulnerability to tsunami in prior posts. In this case, however, the placement of nuclear power plants in the tsunami zone and the actions that were taken in response to the inundation all contributed to a significant radiation release that added to the death toll and, like Chernobyl three decades earlier, meant the evacuation of 100,000 people and the abandonment of entire cities. A tourist named Bob visiting the area remarked:
Bob's remarks about visiting the dead zone at Fukushima concluded with a sobering observation about human nature: