It’s often hard to relate to events that happen on the other side of the world. Frankly, it’s hard enough to relate to things that happen to people across the street from you. Sometimes though, there are photos or videos of events that really seem to resonate and make you “remember” them for a long time afterwards. I think this earthquake/tsunami in Japan will be one of those events. Maybe simply because of the abundance of available videos and photos shot live (thanks technology), or maybe due to the sheer magnitude of the event itself.
A first person view of the incoming tsunami via Gizmodo (with links to other video as well). It starts out as just a little bit of water… rising… and then it just. keeps. coming. First cars come floating by, then shortly it’s whole buildings floating away. Massive destruction. It isn’t like the movies portray it as a huge wall of water, but the end result is about the same.
This link to the NY Times website has a series of satellite photographs showing the before and after of the landscape. It’s incredible to see how much land, buildings, roads, etc were just wiped away like you brush the crumbs off of the counter. Drag the sliders on the images to the left/right in order to see what was washed away.
Lifehacker has a great summary of articles to help keep yourself prepared in case of disaster (natural or otherwise). It’s worth a read and some of these things are easily done and will come in handy should the unwanted ever really happen.