It is a little weird watching a disaster unfold while you are in a foreign country. We woke up this morning to a phone call from Paul’s Dad. He said New Zealand was under a Tsunami alert and wanted to know where we were and if we were in harms way. We are in the central part of the north island of New Zealand so we aren’t concerned for ourselves, but the thought of a Tsunami hitting areas we recently visited and plan on being in soon is unnerving.
It was really surprising to learn that family in Northern Argentina felt some shaking from the Chili Quake. Then I read on Facebook that a friend’s mother is in Santiago – luckily she is well. He was able to contact her through Facebook chat, as the phone lines are down or jammed. As I learned more about the Tsunami warning and the preparations for Hawaii I couldn’t help but to think about the plane tickets we purchased just last night. We are leaving New Zealand in June to go to Fiji for a week and then to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. I am very thankful our travel has us in the safe area of Taupo right now, but it makes you realize you are never too far from disaster.
I lived in New Orleans as a child and had a few family members living in the area when Hurricane Katrina struck. I remember being glued to the TV, with my thoughts on the beautiful memories I have of the area. Seeing a disaster hit an area you are familiar with is very different from seeing it hit an unknown place in the world. The Hiati earthquake was devastating, but I had no personal connection so it didn’t hit home very hard. Santiago, although much further georgraphically, seems much closer to home. Maybe it is because I’ve been to the city, maybe it is because I am reading Facebook message about people praying for friends and family, but it is definitely a somber day.
I wonder if New Zealand will be affected by this Tsunami and I pray that the people in Hawaii and Fiji will stay safe. I also have some selfish thoughts which I feel terribly guilty about. Will I still be able to make my trip to Fiji and Hawaii? Will I get some great deals in Hawaii because nobody wants to travel there right now? If we go to Hawaii after a Tsunami will it still be beautiful? I can’t believe these things have crossed my mind during a time when people are grieving for loved ones and praying for the safety of so many people.
How has the Chili Earthquake affected you?