Throughout the day, I’ve been listening to news reports and reading about the earthquake off the coast of Japan and the tsunami emanating from it. The images from Japan are devastating, horrifying, heart-rending. One commentator said it’s as if Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti occurred simultaneously. Yet, I think the eeriest thing I’ve seen is this video of the tsunami hitting the beach in Crescent City, CA.
At first, it doesn’t seem like much more than rough waves are happening. It’s not like a tsunami in a film or even the almost unbelievable footage of the wave in Japan. It’s when you realize that the waves aren’t going out, that the water is being pushed up the beach and on to the rocks by an inexorable force overriding the nature of the ocean that the full magnitude of what you’re seeing becomes comprehensible. It takes less than three minutes to fill the land with water. And this wave is hundreds of miles from its source, breaking on a distant shore.