Natural Disasters

Mother Nature. Image created on Canva | by Nikkia Modeste | Jul, 2024

Mother Nature is always speaking, we just don’t listen. So, she shouts and we feel it.

I have a massive amount of respect for Mother Nature especially large areas of water. I fear them. If my feet cannot touch the bottom, immediate panic. My fears aside, for most of my life I have not had to deal with any major natural disaster or its after effects. I have seen countries faced with the after effects of tsunamis, volcanos, floods, landslides and monsoons. Sadly, at the time it seemed so far removed from me.

Living in the Caribbean, my country has been subject to tropical storm and hurricane warnings. Thankfully, there have been slight brushes sparing our small nation with minimal damage. Meanwhile, I have looked on as our neighbouring islands have been ravaged and flattened.

Heartbreaking images of homes destroyed and popular tourist spots unrecognizable. But the most gut-wrenching pictures are the faces of the people affected. Their grief for homes and lives lost broadcasted on the television. Emotional leaders of those countries appealing for help, looking defeated and afraid.

My country is located just under the hurricane belt, this has afforded us relatively safe passage during the hurricane season. But another disaster looms just beneath us. We are situated on a fault line. Within recent times earthquakes have been occurring with more and more frequency and with greater magnitudes.

Unlike the hurricanes, there is no warning. No way to prepare. My greatest fear, aside from the damage an earthquake can cause, is being in a state of undress or on the toilet should one occur. Silly, yes but I am already pre-mortified.

Last month we experienced an earthquake late at night. According to the seismic reading it was considered a minor one; magnitude of 3.7. It did not feel minor at all. Caught between drifting off to dreamland and being awake I felt my bed shaking. Stupid with sleep I sat up in bed, I realized what was happening and froze. Fully awake I waited it out. It felt long. Really long. It finally stopped and that was the end of sleep for me. I was expecting aftershocks. There were several of them, I felt none thankfully. There were two earthquakes yesterday, 4 hours apart. Magnitude 4.8. I did not feel them. Again, I am glad.

A deep dive on Google into earthquakes and my country’s location on two shifting tectonic plates has reminded me how insignificant my worries are and how easily everything can change. If predictions are in fact true, my country is due for an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.5 and up. I pray for the safety of my country and its citizens and not being in a state of undress if or when it happens.

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