Time to wake up to earthquakes | By P Senthil S Durai


Time to wake up to earthquakes

IT is unfortunate to note that more than 8,000 people have been killed in powerful and deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Straight from the beginning, heart-wrenching pictures and videos of innocent people trapped under the huge debris and rubble crying for help have been emerging from various news sources worldwide [from the West and the East – like CNN and Asian media]. Having watched such videos online, I seriously find no words to explain the trauma facing the earthquake victims now.

Palpably enough, there have been no immediate rescue mechanisms [related to tools and equipment] in place to help out the affected at the site of earthquakes. However, there have been numerous human hands trying to reach out to those trapped in the rubble. In fact, many people were seen doing their best to pull the innocent victims out of the debris out there. No doubt such humanitarian efforts have been encouraging and touching to the core. Well, it is those helping hands and human spirits that will always stand out from the rest even in the midst of such powerful natural disasters.

Whatever it is, the fact of the matter is that countries have miles to go in the matter of tackling quakes. Going by all the facts and figures including these latest Middle East earthquakes, there have been serious lessons to learn from natural disasters. First off, it is time to coexist with Mother Earth and its abundant natural resources. For instance, the over-exploitation of natural sources must be avoided at all costs.

True, we have technological advances at our disposal. But this does not mean that we can use and exploit Mother Earth to the greatest extent possible. As a matter of fact, rigorous human activities have long been impacting the nature of Mother Earth. OK, what could be the way forward or what is the best way out of this?First up, mega building structures [meaning skyscrapers] must be banned across the board. Plus, quake-prone areas should be excluded from rigorous construction activities in the best interests of all. In fact, such practical and precautionary steps will go a long way in this connection.

More importantly, time has come to say BIG NO to concrete jungles literally. Instead, we must pay more attention to green activities like planting trees. In my native areas like Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, there have been green activities/areas in abundance from big trees to green fields to numerous farmlands/food crops. Of course, such green activities will always be in tune with Mother Nature and Mother Earth in all respects.

Above all else, the international community should now stand with the people in earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria in this hour of a crisis through all the means and methods possible from engaging in rescue efforts to sending immediate relief measures to arranging make-shift facilities for the people out there – the sooner, the better.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Maharashtra, India.