Sunday morning, the world’s largest earthquake in 40 years (magnitude 8.9) caused tsunamis up to 30 feet high that crashed into eight south Asia countries including Sumatra, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
The destruction is formidable: Buildings are collapsed. Roads washed away. Airports under water. Villages wiped off the face of the earth. There are estimates of 14,000 dead or missing. Many more are injured with no local medical help in many towns.
One of the men on my Older Bloggers list, Thomas Brinson of Various Journeys, has spent the better part of the past year as a peace worker in politically unstable Sri Lanka. He is located near Mutur and Trincomalee on the east coast of that island nation, which took a direct hit from the tidal wave.
Last week, Thomas and I spent some time “talking” in real time via instant messenger. He had posted some photos of the flooding from heavier-than-usual, seasonal monsoons and he told me it is early in the rainy season with the potential for worse floods over the next two or three months.
Thomas was thinking of washed out bridges and the attendant difficulty in getting supplies. Of people’s homes needing repair and rebuilding. Of the violent political situation in Sri Lanka. And of a power supply that is whimsical in the best of weather, making blogging a sometime thing for Thomas.
He wasn’t thinking about record-breaking earthquakes and walls of water taller than three-story buildings. News reports out of Sri Lanka say it is among the worst hit by the south Asia tidal wave.
With great relief, I read on his blog this morning that Thomas is safe:
Me G4 Mac is washed away into the deep muddy-green Indian Ocean Sea; the backup is washed away with most of the rest of most of my worldly goods in the destroyed NP House in Mutur. Oh well, time to start everything anew. I'm physically quite sound; mentally/emotionally holding up; spiritually, I have lots of moment to moment, breath to breath time to practice over and over "Mother/Father Divine grant me acceptance" & "Namo Guam Sith Yin Pusa" and to just watch and pray about the devastating scene passing by. Not much else to do except to be present to help my community of Mutur rebuild itself (over 200 dead, many still missing), being of service however I can. Hey, I still have my new Mini-iPod, but no charger, so I listen to one song an hour.
I shall survive. I've survived a lot worse. This too shall pass. Be gentle; I shall connect when I can . . .