Tsunami a rare phenomenon
Yesterday (12th September 2007) a quake measuring 8.4 magnitudes in the Richter scale has hit in Sumatra Island in Indonesia followed by one of 7.7 on the following day (Thursday) and it is reported about six people dead in the tremor and several traapped in the debris. Warning of a tsunami was issued in the surrounding areas following the tremors. It may sound strange that when a 9.3 magnitude quake hit on 2004 there were no warning at all and thousands of people perished having caught in it unaware of the phenomenon (a quake of 9.3 degree magnitude is more than double powerful than that of that with a magnitude of 8.2 as the power doubles with every one degree).
A universal term.
The ‘tsunami’ (tsu = port + nami = wave) is a beautiful word the Japanese have contributed to the world, now it has become so popular that of the 5 billion odd population of earth 90% can understand the meaning of it; as it is a universal word used by the whole world (even confirmed nationalists who never use a foreign word –even in sleep- utter the word tsunami without any resent). The ‘beauty’ of tsunami is not just in the ‘word’ but the racing mass of water, the huge buildings and big trees getting crushed by it are so devastating and must be seen to be believed. The horror scenes of Steven Spielberg are nothing when compared to this phenomenon that can level anything that stands on its way. No need for any special effects to make it look more horror-full.
A candle in the darkness.
The major tsunami that struck in
A process not yet complete.
The earth as per the geologists was a molten rock-mass; the solidification of this mass is not yet complete as of now it remains as a molten mass of lava at the core and layers of solidified rocks surrounding it, it is on the top of this solidified rock cover the biosphere exists. As the solidified rocks float on the molten core these gigantic rock-masses called the tectonic plates move as un-anchored ships on the sea!
25,000 times powerful than that bomb!
The rock-mass where Indian sub-continent rests slowly move East-ward and put pressure on the neighboring one the Burma-Plate. In December 25the the pressure the Indian plate was exerting pressure for hundreds of years on its neighbor the Burmese plate. Suddenly the former got slid under the Burmese plate releasing quantity of energy equal to 25,000 times the bomb that exploded in
The ocean that jumped up.
The Earth-quake that resulted due to the sudden breaking was of 9.3 degree magnitude in the Richter scale. The ocean jumped up immediately to a height of 80 feet spilling its waters to the surrounding areas, the process could be compared to the movement of water in a vessel, when a large pan placed under a vessel is suddenly lifted up; only difference is that the power and turbulence is billions of times greater than that generated!
School children saving ‘ignorant elders’
The tsunami has a peculiarity as the water in the sea-shore suddenly recede and it is lifted up attracting the curious people on the beach to have a look at what is beneath the sea. Suddenly the water-mountain springs up swallowing anything and everything in to it. In Java beach some school children could save the lives of their parents as they studied about tsunami phenomenon on their texts and warned the ‘ignorant elders’ about it and all of them could save their lives. The waves hit on the eastern coast of India devastating the places nearby the sea-shores, the waves came through the ‘Pak-Strait’ (the gulf that separates India and Sri Lanka) and wreaked havocs in many villages of the state of Kerala.
Rich images for the media!
In the age of technical revolution the spreading tentacles of media actually celebrated the disaster with unprecedented gusto those who were affected were in perils while the unaffected were before their TV sets having a good feast of rare visuals dished out by resourceful journalists. The phenomenon of tsunami was a spectacular show indeed as the sheer strength and speed of the water was so thrilling its video images were hot favorites for viewers for a long time. Many journalists could gain credits by boldly recording the diabolic scenes of gushing water and buildings and trees getting crushed in its unbelievable momentum.
Journos - hope for no such images
The present tremor many not be as disastrous as that of 2004 but the tremors have a tendency to repeat and the caution and warnings set by the governments are not totally out of place. However the zone of meeting of two tectonic plates at that juncture is still under pressure and only time will tell what may be the consequences. As per geologists even mountains have been formed due to the collisions between these plates (the Himalayan ranges are believed to be of such an origin. Let us hope the nature may be kind enough to present no more scenes it presented in the previous one, even if that may upset those journos wait on the seashore with cameras ‘awaiting some action’.
A video clip showing the devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami