April 03, 2007

Horse 744 - The Terrible Tsunami

A tsunami hit the Solomon Islands yesterday killing 15 people and bringing services to a standstill, destroying about 900 homes and affecting some 5000 people. The little island nation which has been recently suffered under the curse of a civil war will now have to deal with a natural consequence far bigger than meagre military action has afforded thus far.

In Australia people went into panic mode. From as far north as Cooktown on the Cape York Penninsula to Spring Bay in Tasmania, people literally took to the hills. Parts of Queensland exacuated themselves, 300 schools were closed and there was even one report where a lady in Coogee in Sydney went to the effort of driving her daughter to the Blue Mountains.

I was in Manly and had gone to Jester's for a pie when I heard the news. You have no idea of the eerieness of the place. Here was a warm day with nobody around at all. The Corso was practically empty; several shops had closed for the afternoon because of the impending threat.

At precisely 13:22pm the tsumami struck with all its terror:

I'm sure that at least one sand castle fell victim to its awesome power.

If anything this was an object lesson on how much fear affects people. A percieved threat was enough to make people act irrationally. This was somewhat like The War of the Worlds on the radio, or more recently The War on Terror. If you keep people afraid, they'll do anything.

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