|Image: The Wedding Co|
Words. How to find them at times like this? To adequately convey the depth of our emotion at the utter ghastliness of what has just happened in Japan?
This is in Australia's neck of the woods. Our region has borne so much in recent weeks - devastating floods and a terrifying cyclone in Queensland, calamitous earthquakes in Christchurch and now all this in Japan.
The statistics roll in, readily and constantly updated. According to this recent Sydney Morning Herald online article:
* The official death toll from the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami has reached 801 people with 1,437 people injured.
* The death toll could rise to 10,000. That's people we're talking about. That's more than 3 times the number of people killed on 11 September 2001.
* About another 10,000 people have been reported missing in a single town. That's but one of many such towns.
* The country's worst nuclear accident in at least 33 years occurred at a plant near Tokyo when its cooling systems failed. That's Tokyo, a city of 13 million inhabitants. We can only hope and pray that the resultant radiation exposure can be contained as quickly as possible.
* At least 350,000 people are currently staying at evacuation centres. That's about the entire population of Canberra. Makes you think, doesn't it?
* There have been hundreds of aftershocks since the earthquake. As if those poor souls don't have enough to contend with now.
* The ensuing 7 metre high tsunami that engulfed towns on the northern coast reached as far as 20 kilometres inland. I can't even imagine such a volume of water.
Words. Statistics. The only image of hope which springs to my mind is this glorious chandelier of paper cranes which reminds me of the heartbreaking but inspirational story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Maybe some of you remember this story from your childhood. You can read more about it here.
I think tomorrow on Planet Baby we might try making some origami paper cranes with the pixies in memory of those poor souls who have recently died in Japan. Maybe you'd like to do the same with your children.