Tuesday, March 02, 2010

No Tsunami in Japan this week

Well, on Sunday the approaching tsunami from the Chilean earthquake unleashed... a tsunami of media panic. At the very least emergency broadcasts dominated half the screeen of the program you were watching on TV; and most stations were devoted entirely to tsunami reports.
The broadcasts repeated again and again the list of prefectures expected to be hit as well as the expected time of arrival and height of the tsunami. I kept missing the details for Yokohama (if they were given) but the height estimates ranged from 3 metres to 1 metre. But all reports stressed one thing in common: noone, under any circumstances, was to go near the water; you were to 'seek shelter' until told otherwise. Even the prime minister was brought on to tell everybody to stay away from the sea.

So of course I go down there to have a look. Not only is there nothing to see, the beach the seaside park are buzzing with the usual fishermen, joggers, and walkers.

Japan disappoints once again. When I get home I find all the size estimates have been downgraded to '60 centimetres', even a life-threatening '20 centimetres'.

Meanwhile there was no mention, in the midst of this paranoid media panic disaster meltdown, of...Chile, where upwards of 700 people were killed and hundreds are trapped under the rubble. But hey, who cares about them?

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