Saturday, February 27, 2010

Massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake hits Chile, tsunami warning for Hawaii

From The New York Times: RIO DE JANEIRO — A deadly, 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile early Saturday, collapsing buildings, shattering major bridges and highways across a long swath of the country, and sending tsunami warnings along the entire Pacific basin. 
Chile’s TVN cable news channel reported 122 deaths less than 12 hours after the quake struck. The death toll was expected to rise, particularly around Concepción, Chile’s second-largest metropolitan area, which is roughly 70 miles from the quake’s center. 
There, cars were overturned, rubble fell into the cracked streets and a 15-story building collapsed, wire services and Chilean news media reported. In the capital of Santiago, about five hours to the north and about 200 miles from the epicenter, frightened residents felt the city shake for nearly 90 seconds. [MORE]
From The Washington Post: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning -- its highest alert -- for Hawaii, where incoming waves topping out at six feet could cause damage along the coastlines across the island chain. A warning was also in effect for Guam, American Samoa and dozens of other Pacific islands.
The first waves were expected to arrive in Hawaii at 11:05 a.m. Saturday (4:05 p.m. EST) [MORE]
When I heard of this, I could not help but be reminded of the people of Haiti who are still struggling after their earthquake. Thankfully, Chile is better governed and will be able to do a better job at helping themselves. They will still need help from the world, but no where near as urgent as Haiti’s

Hawaii will no doubt be able to handle the tsunami should one hit. They have plenty of lead-time to evacuate the low lands. Property damage should be the biggest problem.

As these natural disasters hit, we are again reminded that it is the United States who usually gives the biggest helping hand. We are rapidly losing our ability to help out in these situations, as our leaders squander the nation’s fortune. Who then will take our role in helping the world in times of need?  China? Russia? India? All are doubtful.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

This, unfortunately, might be the best thing to happen, Clifton. Since we are so dreadful, they can try to get along without us in areas other than trade.

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