Thursday, April 12, 2012

EarthquakE; WheN ThE EartH ShooK!

‘I have never seen Tsunami, I want to see it live!’ A woman said when police was trying to evacuate the famous Marina beach at Chennai after the Tsunami alert issued by Indian government yesterday afternoon. ‘At the office! Experienced the earthquake for the first time J.’ Declared an old classmate on his Facebook wall. ‘Are we really nearing the end of the world?’ Questioned another friend on his wall.

As soon as I opened my eyes after a long sleep yesterday afternoon I felt my eyes hazy and head spinning. I informed my roommate about the same. He advised me to sleep for few more hours before leaving for office. He left for office after advising me. I was still on bed when I received an SMS from another roommate- ‘Tremors in Bangalore! Did you feel them?’ After reading the SMS I realized that I might have just experienced the first ever earthquake of my life. I switched on the TV and shocked by the news of Tsunami alert. I kept changing the news channels in pursuit of more news.

Few minutes later Mom and Dad called to ask about my well being. A phone call from a cousin in Pune followed. I informed them that I was alright. It was than when I opened my laptop and logged into Facebook. It was flooded with earthquake updates. I came across all kind of status messages on earthquake. ‘Got the half day leave, thanks to earthquake!’ Few friends from Chennai had announced on their Facebook wall. I left for office later and even there most of the talk was around the earthquake.

All these things provoked me to think, what exactly has happened to human sentiments? Do we really understand the impact of a thing as disastrous as earthquake could have? ( Memories of Latur and Bhuj are still fresh in my memory. I was only 5 or 6 years old when one of the most disastrous earthquakes hit the Latur. I remember I didn’t have the proper sleep for next couple of days. I was horrified! )

It’s tough to understand human psyche today. We fear things like earthquake but never leave a chance to gain few minutes of fame if we escape unaffected.

Many of us were busy updating our status messages and few others were busy commenting on those status messages when many people could have lost their lives had the Tsunami warning was correct. I’m not saying I’m against all these things but the point is do we know what needs to done in case of a natural calamity? Did we ever try to educate ourselves on how to escape unaffected in such situations? I’m not sure how many of us are aware of steps need to be taken in case of a disaster. No one told me ever. I never tried to learn myself. In fact I prayed to god every time yesterday whenever I entered the lift at office. That’s the best I could have did!

Japan which is prone to earthquakes was destroyed by it last year. What if something like this happens in India? Are we prepared? You certainly would not want to update the Facebook wall and tweet about it when you are on the 10th floor of your office building and earth below is shaking. Also, usage of lift is not advisable at the time of tremor.  Time to time we can see fire drills at multi story buildings. Have you ever heard about an earthquake drill? It’s high time when government should educate its people on disaster mitigation. It is not only the duty of government but we as individuals should learn about it and educate the others. We should thank god that everything was fine by the end of the day yesterday. All the governments withdrew the Tsunami warning.

We are living in metros. Rescue teams could reach us immediately in case of an emergency. Spare a thought for those who lives in interiors especially at the coastal areas, who are illiterate, who will help them?  We have already seen once what a Tsunami could do? It’s time to be Human!!..


Sandhya said...

My husband felt it in his office at Nandanam, Chennai. He thought he had a heart attack of sorts....the chair shook so much that the felt dizzy. Then all of them came down to the road.

Thank god nothing disastrous happened. If it happens, we have to face it, that is all. OMR had traffic jam, last evening it seems with people going home/running home. My servant said that many of her neighbours went to their native places!

I do, I do. said...


Ashwini C N said...

I agree. Once when there was a bomb scare at office, people were like, Thank God, We would have a day off. People these days , a few of them, fail to grasp the intensity of such situations.

Prasoon said...

@ Sandhya, we do panic in such situations. People look for shelter.

@ I DO I DO- Amen..

@ Ashwnini- Seriously.... These are the same people who would be the first to Panic also.

Gayathri said...

Oh yea... I prayed God that we should not get a tsunami but then are people are so anxious to have a disaster! :|crazy people! Good read.. and thank god we are all safe now.. :)

Harshita Srivastava said...

So true...Fortunately we are safe..I pray that things stay is all up to the Almighty

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