Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Wrath of Nature
We've seen or experienced it again and again. Earthquake, flood, tsunami, drought t fire etc. The most recent catastrophe that hits Japan with earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant explosion (with possible meltdown and radiation occuring in quick succession) is the worst that can happen and we still don't know how it's going to end. It beats the calamities that have hit the USA, New zealand, Chile, Acheh, the Philippines etc. in the recent past. Our prayers, condolence and sympathy go to the Japanese snd all those who have suffered the wrath of Nature..
Can natural disasters be considered as the wrath of Nature? i wouldn't want to say the wrath of God for I am not qualified to do so although as far as the Muslims are concerned the al-Quran stated very succinctly that Allah had in the past destroyed many human communities for going against His injunctions and the teachings of the prophets that He chose for them. Even the big flood and Noah's Arc was His way of selecting who and what would continue to livre on the earth.
What have human beings done to incur the wrath of nature in the form of earthquake although Science says it's only the natural result of some geophysical adjustments in the tectonic plates? No one can give a definite answer to such a question but we do know that human beings have been continuously tempering with the earth surface. We built huge dams and artificial lakes which impounded billion metric tonnes of water weighing on the earthcrust in places where nature had not decided to create a lake naturally. We pumped out million upon million barrels of oil everyday, leaving a vacuum which when even refilled with water will not be able to bear the same weght. This happens in many parts of the world especially in the offshore areas. Aren't we threfore not disturbing the narural balance of the earthcrust?
To a lesser degree human beings also keep hacking away at the hills and the mountains. No we don't disturb the really collosal mountains and the plateaus such as the Rockies, the Andes, the Tibetan Plateu, the Fujiyama and the Kinabalu. But we flattened the smaller hills to build homes and residentisl areas towns and cities. We dig tunnels and underground pathways to facilate trasportation. We build bridges and heavy structures to cross rivers, lakes and even the sea where the earthcrust could be rather thin. Aren't we, therefore, not adding on a lot of wieght on the land surface without actually knowing how thick the earstcrust is in the areas concerned.
What about floods. Can that also be a sign of the wrath of nature? Floods resulting from earthquake share the causes of the esrthquake itself - the unending and indiscriminate human activities which shift the weight and the pressure sustaiened by the earthcrust. But there other other things that we do which can cause flooding from rivers and rivulets. We cut away trees, hacked the forests away and denude the land surface. We also construct cement walls, roads and pavements which interfere with the natural process of draining rainwater away. Yes we make our own drainage and irrigation plan but not for all the rivers. Too m any water catchment areas of the world had been converted into towns, cities, and residential areas, while forestland which absorbed the running waters from the hills and mountains had beeen denuded.
So, is Nature (if not God Himself) not angry with us human beings for our many failures to live by its/His rule? The most disasterous earthquake in Shanxi, China, in 1556 killed 830,000 people, the Acheh disaster killed 283,106 oeople and many earlier disasters killed hundreds of thousand. We pray that Japan got away with lesss lives than the loss of properties and wealth which can be regenerated. It's time for human beings to rethink of what they have done to incur the wrath of Nature ( and God), and desist doing those things. If we don't then don't be surprised when Nature hits back, however sorrowful we are of the tragedies that hit us.