This is being called the 6th most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
I’ve never felt such utter horror at anything I’ve ever seen before: live video from an airplane as the tsunami wave carries hundreds of cars and buildings away. I feel literally sick.
The human toll from this is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands by the time the wave passes over countless inhabited Pacific islands, that are lower than the height of the wave.
If you want to watch (and viewer discretion is most definitely advise, especially you young children, BBC is carrying live news.
They are saying now that electricity is lost to pumps that cool a nuclear reactor near Tokyo. Dear lord.
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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.
It is unthinkable. Do I dare watch the live feed?
I think seeing the leading edge of this thing rush towards occupied cars stuck in gridlock on a roadway, then later seeing hundreds of cars as flotsam was perhaps the most unsettling. The only mercy might be that most never knew what hit them, but surely, many saw it coming and could do nothing to escape.
So, so horrible. I think we NEED these images, though. Otherwise the magnitude of the disaster gets lost in our minds in the same way the number “billion” does. Just too big, too incomprehensible.