This refers to the report “Quakes off Sumatra trigger tsunami panic” (April 12). The immediate and swift response by the government, disaster management services and teams, in association with police and the armed forces, exhibited the country's improved disaster preparedness compared to 2004 when over 15,000 lives were washed away by the tsunami. In the wake of the 8.6 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami warning, the disaster management teams were able to alert most people and evacuate them from high-rise buildings, and clear the coastal areas. It is equally important to issue guidelines on building of homes and construction of roads and bridges to ensure minimum casualties and quick access in calamity affected areas, especially the Northeast which falls in the most seismically active zone.
I never thought I would experience a tremor in Visakhapatnam as the region is not prone to earthquakes. But Wednesday's experience changed all my misconceptions. It was a very scary experience.
The first thought that occurred to me was how easily we take everything, including nature, for granted; how easily we hurt the earth by extensive mining and digging. One single jerk and the whole world shook. It is time we started respecting nature. I know it is not possible to prevent earthquakes. At least, avoidable calamities can be prevented.
The earth perhaps got angry and decided to send a shiver down our spine. Fortunately for us, it was not a violent shake — not yet. Probably, it was just a warning to treat the earth with more respect and sensitivity.