This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Natural Disasters

If the bodies are not found and identified and their families given the peace of knowing, the festering lack of closure will take its toll. The government will forever face the quiet condemnation of the masses, that it made too little effort to act decisively when action was required.

As it is, over a month after the crippling earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and left its population in a state of collective shock, and its industry enfeebled, it is too late.

Bodies of the drowned have been washed too far out for recovery. The dead, lying under deep layers upon layers of quake-destroyed buildings are steadily decaying and too few have been recovered, despite the tasking of 25,000 Japanese troops dispatched in recovery efforts at the worst scenes of disaster. There are 74 schoolchildren missing at an elementary school.

The official tally is 14,340 people killed in the triple disaster. With 11,889 officially missing. Not yet accounted for, but missing. It is those 11,889 whose bodies are being sought for recovery, accounting and burial. It is the government's responsibility to attempt to see that this is done. It is a government being accountable past a disaster it could not cope with.

Poking about in the twisted wreckage of what were once municipal buildings, shopping emporiums, schools, apartments and devastated homes is proving to be a monumental and dangerous task. Aircraft and ships, police, coast guard officers, all engaged in a large sweep for the possible location and discovery of bodies offshore. Fewer than 500 found, thus far.

And there's another dimension of tragedy as well, as once-productive farmland, now abandoned as a result of a government-ordered nuclear-evacuation zone. Farm animals deserted, left to slowly perish, unable to fend for themselves as domesticated and incapable of looking to their own needs. The evacuation zone encompasses 370 farms.

On those farms were four thousand cattle, thirty-thousand pigs, and six-hundred-thirty-thousand poultry. The Japanese who once proudly practised animal husbandry and farmed their acreage, are no longer there, but elsewhere, fearing for their health and mourning their lost livelihoods. Veterinarians have been dispatched to evaluate the situation, the dead animals.

The surrounding air, soil and ocean have been contaminated by radiation from the nuclear plant at Fukushima. Regional farm production has been banned. Automobile manufacturers have been unable to start up and regularize their production lines resulting in a shortage of parts and overall production shortfalls.

People are desperately concerned about the continued spread of radiation, of an increased evacuation zone. Farmers who have lost their livelihoods and sometimes family members are in utter despair. Some have committed suicide. And Japanese health authorities anticipate a rising wave of grief and anguish contributing to greater numbers of suicides.

This is a country in which pride and honour contribute to viewing suicide as a solution, the ultimate act of humble contrition. For those whose livelihoods have disappeared and who can see no future for themselves, the benefits of an insurance policy paid may assist their families if their suicides can be attributed to natural causes.

Which, in effect, they most certainly can be.

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