And if the urban area in question is characterized by some of the most dire, crushing poverty to be found anywhere in the western hemisphere, the sorrow becomes nearly too much to wrap a mind around.
Yesterday’s temblor was situated just 10 miles away from the capital city of Port au Prince and its population of two million. With such densely settled humanity in a region characterized by inexpensive and structurally substandard building methods, what we’re seeing unfold is tough to grasp and promises to get grimmer still.
I’m not religious in the least, but a strong spiritual streak runs through to my core, which explains why I find the following quote, taken from an article written by KC Baker for Tonic.com (the site for whom I contribute science news items), so resonant and compelling:
I’m additionally compelled to make note of a nice bit of in-the-room elephant identification by the most excellent astrologer Eric Francis, who observes:
I wonder how it’s possible that humanitarian aid for the Sumatra quake was just $7 billion USD, whereas the AIG bailout was more like $180 billion.”
I’m not yet sure precisely what I can or will do. Watching and reading the immediate aftermath rapidly unfold, I’m feeling shaken to the core. Regardless of any divine force that may or may not be at play, clearly we are presented with a test of our collective heart and values. I hope that somehow I’m able to rise to this occasion.
I hope that we all are.
Image of event shake map by US Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons