We live in a highly connected age, with millions of cameras and an extremely vibrant news industry, that is able to put eyes on even the most harrowing events and bring them to the world. That was especially apparent today when after a record-setting earthquake struck Japan, videos and news coverage poured out of the country. For those of us far away from today’s events, these images are likely to be the indelible images that we remember.
This first video, from the BBC, shows a terrifying and amazing scene, taken not long after the tsunami hit the coast of Japan this morning, showing a boat caught in a huge whirlpool. Commentators on the video and other sources say that this was likely caused by the interaction between the forward rushing water and the sea floor. There’s no word, as of yet, as to whether the boat was occupied or not.
Because today’s quake had its epicenter offshore, a huge wave surged ashore not long after. The tsunami caused tremendous damage to Japan’s eastern coast, as this video shows.
In the midst of this destruction, the good news is in what did not happen. This video, found on Gawker TV, shows massive skyscrapers swaying from the force of the earthquake. Because earthquakes are quite common in Japan, the country has some of the strictest building regulations in the world. Were those regulations not in place, it’s not hard to imagine a much more devastating outcome. These buildings, for instance, stayed up.
News about the quake and its far reaching effects will certainly be trickling in for days and weeks. With that in mind, it’s likely we’ll be seeing more harrowing images like these soon.