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Articles on political and social issues in Cameroon, Africa and the world as seen by Njei Moses Timah > Reflecting on the Japanese Disaster

16 Mar 2011

Deadly Earthquake, Tsunami visit Japan on March 11 2011

As I drove past a primary school in Douala constructed by the Japanese Government to help Cameroonian children acquire education in a comfortable environment, I could not help wondering why nature should be so unkind to these hardworking Japanese.

The Japanese have been used to earthquakes and are best prepared to confront them but little did they expect that a monstrous magnitude 9 quake will hit them in addition to a tsunami wave that was 10 metres high roaring inland at a speed of 800kms/hour less than ten minutes after the quake.

Video footage of this incident did beat the imagination of millions of people around the world. People, houses, cars and other objects were simply swept away like toys inland and also out to the sea. The dead victims number more than 25,000.

I salute the stoic and calm manner in which the Japanese people are facing this unprecedented disaster. They are able to hold their calm in the face of more than 400 aftershocks in just four days and threats of nuclear disaster from damaged nuclear energy plants.

This particular earthquake that was felt 2000kms away and has reportedly shifted the main Japanese Island by about 2.4 metres was indeed a monster. It is nothing you will wish even for your worst enemy.

Our sympathy and prayers go to the Japanese especially the injured, the hundreds of thousands that have been rendered homeless and the millions more that are bereaved.

I trust that these resilient people will overcome this challenge as they have always done during past disasters.

Njei Moses Timah