I am watching coverage of the devastating Earthquake and the subsequent Tsunami that hit Japan in the past 24 hours. As I watch the coverage on television, there are quakes that are hitting other parts of Japan as well as after shocks. The damage is unimaginable and the loss of life is heartbreaking. My heart goes out to the people and their families in Japan
Natural disasters seem to be increasing in the past few years or there may just be more coverage on these disasters as technology allows us to cover stories occurring halfway across the world. Mind you this Earthquake caused a Tsunami warning around the Pacific Rim, so coverage in those areas would be assumed natural. It just proves that the Oceans connect our lands like information technology connect people. An Earthquake occurring in Japan can cause a Tsunami in British Columbia.
It is difficult to forget the Tsunami in the South Pacific in around Christmas time in 2004. The Tsunami was also devastating as many people in the region live along the coast and were not able to get out of the low lying coastal cities in time before the water hit the shores. Environmental reports stated that the damage would not have been as severe in some areas if there hadn’t been so much degradation and removal of coastal habitats such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. These habitats decrease the energy of the waves as they pass over habitats decreasing the impact to man made structures as they arrive on shore. It’s just another reason why we need to maintain our coastal habitats.
We tend to forget that protecting Ocean Resources will help protect our shores and people that live along them. Perhaps it is because most of the Ocean messages are about specific species such as sharks, whales, seals, or birds and not coastal habitats that help keep us safe from major Ocean disasters such as Tsunamis. As an Ocean Communicator, I feel that messages need to stress the fact that protecting our Oceans and Coasts are in line with maintaining defences against natural disasters. Find out the state of your coastal habitats by contacting your local government and conservation organizations. It could save the lives of many people.