By Alagra Bass
After the movie 2012 was released all over the country, people began to joke about the idea of the world coming to an end.
But natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, which killed over 1,800 people and cost more than $80 million in property damage, are real and incredibly dangerous.
From hurricanes to earthquakes, the past few decades have been full of natural disasters. This summer, Maryland and New York felt trembles of small earthquakes on the coast.
But the largest earthquake in the northeast hit before most of our families’ ancestors immigrated to this country. This earthquake, which hit in 1755 with a magnitude of 5.9, was only a moderate earthquake.compared to the recent earthquake in Haiti, which killed nearly a quarter million and left about a million others homeless.
Pakistan has lost families, homes, and other property to more than ten large earthquakes (rating above a six on the Richter scale) since the 1980’s. Half of these hit at magnitudes greater than Haiti’s recent 7.0 quake. Over the summer, Pakistan experienced the worst flooding in its history as a result of an earthquake registering 5.2 on the Richter scale .
So what can we make of all these natural disasters? Of an overpopulated city of hundreds of thousands of residents becoming nearly vacant? We may not believe that the world is coming to an end, but wreckage and the lives lost are incredibly difficult to fathom.
Fortunately there are programs that strive to help countries like Pakistan, including our own military forces and an Oregon-based group called Mercy Corps, which has helped Pakistan get through its natural disasters for about 25 years.