Natural disasters seem to be the overriding theme in the Year of the Cock.
Just like the term cock-eye, nature does not see clearly, where or who, it strikes with its fury.
Barely a month ago, U.S. experience the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, Japan shook under the power of Typhoon Nabi and China had to face Typhoon Talim.
A little more than a week ago, there was Hurricane Stan which hit Guatemala. The death toll is now 652 from this unwidely-publicised storm, and still rising.
But typhoons and hurricanes can be predicted because they are formed over seas and they may or may not hit shores.
Earthquakes and volcanoes are different. We don’t have the technology yet to detect these calamities before they happen.
The most recent earthquake that struck one of the poorest country in the world (2000 GDP ranking was 146, with a population of 160 million) has got me thinking.
One can’t help but wonder why disasters seem to hit those who can do without such added misfortune.
People who are already impoverished, with many young mouths to feed.
Areas which are not developed and remote, where houses are made from wood and crumble easily. And it happened on a Saturday morning, when scores of children were attending school.
It’s obvious that it doesn’t matter whether one believes in a particular God or not; no one is spared.
Or maybe He is making a point that no particular belief and no one is above others.
We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature. The Earth is just going through its own cycle of life.
I echoed this writer’s point of view:
Let's put 2005 in pulpit perspective. The tsunami, as the old year ended, destroyed Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and churches with indiscriminate violence. It swept away the agnostic pleasure domes of Thailand's tourist coast. It drowned people of almost every religion and none. Add New Orleans for the cymbal clash of the born-again and the black, for Southern Baptists and old-time religionists, and what have you got? A year of disaster spread and shared. A year when every God - or no god at all - seemed angry. A year with a mission to destroy.
On a somewhat positive note, this disaster might bring Pakistan and India a little closer, or at least for now, over the long disputed Kashmir area.
Whether these natural occurrences are really part of the climatic cycle of Earth or that the frequency and severity of these events have actually increased due to human activities, I will leave it to the scientists to find out.
To be really cynical, I wouldn’t put past some deluded people to proclaim that this disaster as yet another “wrath of God”. To destroy a supposedly terrorists’ hotbed area.
I sincerely hope that aid reaches the victims promptly so that unnecessary deaths due to diseases can be minimised.