March 11, 2011

Massive Earthquake and Tsunami hits Japan

via the New York Times,

TOKYO — An earthquake of 8.9. magnitude struck off the coast of Japan  on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and set off warnings as far away the west coast of the United States and South America.

Fragmentary early reports of the toll indicate that hundreds of people have been killed. Japanese police officials told the Associated Press that 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, a port city in the northeastern part of the country and the closest main city to the epicenter.

Walls of water whisked away houses and cars in northern Japan, where terrified residents fled the coast. Train service was shut down across central and northern Japan, including Tokyo, and air travel was severely disrupted. A ship carrying more than 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo News reported.

The government evacuated thousands of residents near a nuclear plant about 170 miles northeast of Tokyo after a backup generator failed, compromising the cooling system, the Associated Press reported. continued

Read the whole piece here.

Our hearts go out to those affected. We are hoping to hear word on what relief efforts are being established and possible ways to help soon. Updates to come.


-One way to help is to give to Redcross Disaster Relief here: or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 for a quick, easy $10 donation.

-Photos of the destruction: (via the National Post)

-[VIDEO] Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 17th Karmapa, offers prayers for victims. View here.

-How To Help Japan: Earthquake Relief Options (Huffington Post)

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Dominic Gomez's picture

Re: "i do believe that something WILL happen very soon to change the world. And my goodness i hope it does!"
According to some belief systems, what happens is the end of the world, at which time some of us will go to hell while some of us go to heaven.

kkkerryyy's picture

A few months ago, i began to watch documentaries on Japan about how they were killing all the wildlife in the sea. Tens of thousands of animals were being slaughtered for no reason. There were even campaigns from all over the world, approaching the Japanese government to pledge support to stop the killings. The Japanese government didn't care. The killings continued to be legal which then rendered the opposing side (the people against the killings) as helpless.
I was so upset by what i was seeing, as were millions and said outloud "Something has to happen before these incredible animals become extinct...!" And it did. A Tsunami hit a few weeks later.
Innocent people were killed, just in the way innocent animals were. Dolphin infants would be slaughtered infront of their parent and vice versa, for example.
So why, now that it is humans, is there such an uproar!? Why is it that animals don't count here?Think about it!!!!
Now the Tsunami has hit, the ocean has a fighting chance to repair and recooperate away from the killing hands of the human species. If this hadn't happened, what would have happened in ten years time in the bigger picture?
The same applies for global economic...If something big does not happen soon to end the suffering of those having their land destroyed (mainly by a Western domination), what will happen to us all in 10 years time.
I am not religious, but i do believe that something WILL happen very soon to change the world. And my goodness i hope it does! We cannot carry on the way we are going.

pierrerowe's picture

Thank you, Monty. I had never thought about the link between drilling and earthquakes. But now that you mention it, it seems entirely logical. I 'm glad you liked the brad Warner link ! He is a great teacher.

PS : Homobailis : I hope this person is ok...

Sincerely Pierre

Homohabilis's picture

John Stevens, longtime Zen student, Aikido master, author of many Buddhist books (and numerous articles in Tricycle and other periodicals), and a really nice fellow (I met him in the mid-70s when he visited San Francisco), lives in Sendai last I heard. I'm hoping he is still with us.

Monty McKeever's picture

Thanks for letting us know. I hope he got out ok!

Homohabilis's picture

(I tried to make an html link, but it didn't work; you need to smarten up the comment function.)

Monty McKeever's picture

Thanks for commenting clubmeds and Dominic,

Karma is always at work, both in ways we can understand and in ways that are beyond us. That said, I find it helpful to remember that the word Karma (Sanskrit) or Kamma (Pali), is most accurately translated just as "action." Many people seem to have a conception of karma that is more along the lines of "reaction." This isn't necessarily wrong, for whether we observe the truths identified by the Buddha (Kamma) or by Sir Isaac Newton (Newton's Law of Motions), it is clear that "every action has an equal and opposite reaction." Therefore, while karma is action, not reaction, in a universe where absolutely everything arises out of causes and conditions, action and reaction are forever interdependent. They are one and the same. (Karma creates karma creates karma etc.)

For example, take the terrible tragedy in Japan: A massive earthquake in the ocean sent a giant tsunami at the mainland causing tremendous destruction, death, and suffering. Was this karma? yes. The earthquake itself WAS an action, a karma (something that happened.) But what was it that created this karma? Was it, as clubmeds is pondering, a global reaction to human ego, or was it simply the result of tectonic plates shifting underneath the ocean? My intuition tells me it was tectonic plates. This feels plausible to me, whereas good people in Japan being singled out and punished by the earth does not seem plausible to me at all. I think karma is very ordinary, essentially mathematical, and is not some type of abstract "cosmic comeuppance and/or reward."

However, clubmeds, have you ever heard the theory that under-ocean earthquakes may be related to offshore drilling? As I understand it, certain theorists believe that the oil fields underneath the ocean may essentially serve as a lubricant for the earth's tremendous tectonic plates. When we remove this lubricant then these plates, which are sitting underneath the immense weight of the ocean, may snap and shift, thus causing large earthquakes and tsunamis like the ones that have hit Haiti, Indonesia, and now Japan. If this theory is true then it is clear that the karma of humanities dependence on fossil fuels is in fact a major factor in these terrible disasters.

Here are a few articles that relate to this theory that I was able to find through a quick search:
Did mining and oil drilling trigger the Haiti earthquake?
LA proposed offshore oil drilling earthquake threat

my best wishes and support goes out to all affected by yesterday's tragedy, both directly and indirectly (which in a interdependent world is all of us),

Dominic Gomez's picture

"Did mining and oil drilling trigger the Haiti earthquake?"

An "incovenient truth" a la terra firma, eh? An incredible amount of oil would have to have been siphoned off for the Pacific plate to slide under the Japan plate...perhaps through that hole we punctured in the floor of the Gulf of Mexico?
In any case, human behavior (i.e. "action") underlies much of why we do such things to our planet. We then reap what we sow, and re-act ("take action") in a variety of ways to deal with the resulting (man-made) natural disasters. Karma upon karma, until we go figger.

clubmeds's picture

I guess it just is what it is! Everything happens because it is supposed to happen.
We are connected with everything and change with everything.
Scientists can explain only what they know and I don't know anyone currently walking this earth that knows everything. I follow my (GUT) feelings on things that occure and let it go knowing I will understand why at a later time when it will make sense. Your correct in saying "this effected all of us". I know as well as you there is more to come!

pierrerowe's picture

Check this out-It might help, or it might not, but it helps keep things in proportion.

Monty McKeever's picture

Thanks Pierre, Brad is a great teacher and writer.

clubmeds's picture

Could the weather around the US along with the earthquakes in the mid-US and now the tsunami in Japan along with the West Coast and Hawai be part of a GLOBAL cause and effect? I know there is ways they can explain all of this but when will we start to feel the effects of all the negative karma (which there is more than ever) due to , what else, EGO!
When I try to spread the word of Buddha's teachings to others whom I think would be receptive I get looked at like a crazy person and quickly find myself alone!
The more I recieve his teaching the more I see the problems I avoid!
So, is this GLOBAL KARMA finally or is that impossible?

Dominic Gomez's picture

Karma is not what happens. Karma is how you deal with it.