Mother nature’s grunt

One storm, one earthquake, one tsunami, and an eruption of volcanic ashes later, and here I am still living; untouched by the environmental chaos.

Living in the clevises of my sheltered home, I was unaware of the geographical calamities unfolding around me, until friends and family sent messages of concern through facebook, asking whether I had been affected. And at that time all I could think of was the long seven hours I spent stuck in a traffic deadlock traveling from Kemang to Sudirman—a trip which usually took 45 minutes to an hour and thirty minutes max with traffic.

Nevertheless, the long seven hours of discomfort, restlessness and hunger, was a mere pinch compared to the turmoil it has caused more than 500 people.

I guess what they say is true; whether it is food, drugs, or alcohol, too much of one thing is not good. Indonesia is endowed with a plethora of natural resources, from oil, minerals, coal, oil, even supporting the second highest level of biodiversity (after Brazil), all of which are possible due to its archeological location on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

But, in spite of the rich endowment of natural resources, its location on the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates has given birth to numerous volcanoes (150 are active) and frequent earthquakes. Such an irony considering that the spurts of volcanic ash spurring high agricultural fertility which has sustained the livelihood of people living in Java and Bali,  is also the same volcanic ash which took the lives of 31 people in Yogyakarta yesterday (Tuesday).

With the heavy rains, earthquake, tsunami, and the volcanic ash erupted from Mount Merapi, now, Indonesians on high-alert, having been implanted with a seed of paranoia and trauma, which with one single shake sends worrying neurotransmitters racing. Last night when we were having dinner out, the fragile wooden ground was shaking, and immediately the old ladies sitting to the side of us were feverishly asking whether an earthquake had been taking place. My dad had to calmly assure them that there was no earthquake whatsoever, constantly telling them that if there was, the first indicator would be the willowing lanterns on the ceiling.

The events which have unfolded on Monday and Tuesday were just a speck of many incidences; but it does not give us reason to be ignorant or scared of mother nature’s call to give her a little more TLC.

TENDER LOVE AND CARING PEEPS. If we give people TLC we should give some love to the environment.

Monday’s Play-by-play:

  • Jakarta and Bogor suffered 2-3 hours of heavy rain, resulting in flooded areas around the city, and deadlock traffic which locked me down to my car seat for seven hours. The cities of Sunter, Kelapa Gading, and some streets in Kemang were submerged in 20-30 cm of water (Monday)
  • A 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit Sumatra at around 2:22 pm (Monday)
  • The earthquake triggered a tsunami which struck Padang’s premier surfing paradise, white washing the entire resort, and taking 100 lives and displacing  500 people (Monday)
  • The following day (Tuesday) Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi, in Yogyakarta blanketed the village of Kinahrejo, at least 31 people were killed

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