In the last few days we’ve seen images of people covered in mud and chest-deep in water, against backdrops of smashed buildings and upended cars. We’ve seen naked grief, grim searches for bodies and entire villages washed away.
It’s got me thinking – why do we know so little about what causes such massive disasters?With all the advancements in modern science, and the development of highly sophisticated measuring equipment, why can’t we predict more accurately when a storm is going to be become deadly? … or when tectonic plates are going to screech and knock into one another?… or when a quake will result in a huge, destructive wave?
Scientists are making some progess on this — but really, it’s baby steps. In terms of predicting earthquakes, this science blog sums the situation up neatly: “it will be a long time, if ever, before we’ll be ready for every substantial earthquake that might occur”.
And according to LiveScience, tsunamis are hard to predict because nobody knows how a quake has affected the seafloor until hours, days or even months after the event. And, it says, a tsunami is almost imperceptible on the open ocean, rising to full ferocity only as it nears the shore.
Do you think science should be providing more answers on this? Do you think we should have more information about impending catastrophic events?
Or do we simply need to accept that natural disasters do — and will continue to – happen? Should we just accept that science isn’t always going to have the answers?