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Friday, March 18, 2011

True Heroes

Being here in Tokyo, a safe distance - at least for now - away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant which now has achieved eternal fame minus the glory, but still a distance enough to be in alert at least, watching things unfold around me is kind of serene.

First of all it must be said that this whole chain of events has a lot to do with a big fat chunk of plain old bad luck. You can prepare all you want, but when you're hit by the 4th biggest earthquake ever recorded in human history followed by a big ass tsunami some half an hour later there's only so much you can do. To add to that, the Fukushima plant was only two or so weeks away from it's scheduled decommission after 40 years of operation. How close is that? And even then, they had recently upgraded its safety measures and had erected walls which could prevent a 7 meter tsunami which in itself is a once in a blue moon thing, but then you get hit by a 10 meter tsunami. Oh well.

Then over here, in Tokyo, some 250 kilometers away from Fukushima, things are still running as normal as you can expect, but not always. Some of the Japs have gone crazy and stocking supplies like mad. Almost all the supermarkets, grocery stores and convenient stores are running out of bottled water, batteries, emergency lamps, candles and whatnot. Instead of the usually teeming-with-goods shelves you see rows and rows of empty shelves. In order to save electricity many production plants are operating under capacity, fewer trains operate than usual and you have power cuts in Japan - who would have thought!

But amidst all this chaos, there is a bunch of true heroes out there going on about their business for all of us' sake. The few remaining courageous workers at the Fukushima plant who work around the clock to get the situation under control, putting their own lives at risk so bravely to save the lives of millions out there. I'm not so sure if I would have done the same thing if I were there. Those guys are the true heroes who often goes unnoticed. As one of my friends said in his FB status, at a time when people are wasting their money on texting to choose their idol heroes, how many would spend their free words of appreciation on true heroes like these people? So true, and unfortunately, I wonder how many people will remember these guys once the crisis is over. To alter the words of Winston Churchill a little, "Never in recent times of crisis has so much been owed by so many to so few."

Thank you friends, we owe you big time.


  1. Heartbreaking, the whole thing. And all the paranoia about nuclear fallout and what else is spreading across Asia, and distracting from relief efforts. :(