As I begin to type this, a minor tsunami is supposedly hitting our shores as a result of the unthinkably massive and horrific earthquake in Japan last night/this morning. The largest recorded earthquake in Japan, ever!? I can’t imagine what people are going through over there. I can not imagine. My heart and thoughts go out to them. It’s crazy to realize I found out about this via Twitter when I had, from bed, checked on with my phone just to update to remind people to ‘spring forward’ their clocks this weekend. Seems a trivial matter now.
In south/central California, we are under a Tsunami Advisory (which is different than a Warning: read here for more info). For us this means people sort of flock to the beach (but don’t go in!!) or more likely a cliff’s safer view of the beach to check out the wave patterns and effects. Local news is showing folks gathered around watching minor surges of water (much stronger than normal) pushing the waves up the beaches, but nothing farther than it would go normally on a very high tide, and mostly just to the north of us, where the coast faces west (keep reading for more info). I don’t have a car today, but I wish I did so that I could go and check this out. How strange to feel this tiny blip of connection of something happening in what still seems like a world away. It certainly makes it feel more real, and closer to home.
Where I live is a unique part of California. The coastline faces south, not west. Check out this map (click on it for a bigger version). I’ve added an arrow pointing towards the area I am talking about. You’ll notice that there are some islands off the coast as well. Both of these factors shelter us from large tsunamis from any direction. Watching some of the footage of the devastation caused in Japan only hours ago, I can’t help but be extremely grateful for this geographical cushion.
That said, the San Andres Fault runs just behind us, forest fires are a frequent danger, heavy rainy days always mean some sort of flooding (which could get out of hand), and so on. This takes some getting used to. In honor of those who lost their lives last night, and those who may still not make it through, as the clean up only begins, I am going to discuss with my husband the need for an emergency kit and plan (which we’ve only put together half heartedly so far).
Please check your local Red Cross, and Disaster Relief organizations for ways that you can help those affected by these events. They don’t just need ‘money’, they need support in SO many ways. I think if that happened to me, I’d want my family and friends, and my kitties, and a hug. 😐
Hugs also to my friends and family in Ontario who are apparently facing some furious weather today. Hang in there. *hugs*
UPDATE: Found a couple of great related links: