Monday, March 14, 2011

A silver lining from Japan's catastrophe

- by New Deal democrat

By now we've all seen the horrible videos of the tsunami swallowing up entire towns and the tremendous loss of life that the Japanese are enduring. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

For a moment, though, let's remember something that, for all of the hours and hours of video of walls of water smashing into and destroying towns that was recorded, we haven't seen. All of those videos show tsunami's damaging or destroying intact structures. Not a single building anywhere in Japan seems to have suffered major damage from the 8.9 earthquake itself, as opposed to the following tsunami. Think about that for a moment: despite undergoing one of the 10 most severe earthquakes to strike the planet in the last century, not a single structure was lost to the ground movement. Compare that with last year's earthquake in Haiti.

The Japanese building codes have proven to be outstanding. California, Oregon, Washington State, and all of the areas at risk due to the New Madrid fault, ought to enact that Japanese code into law, word for word. It has proven itself in this Great Quake.