This refers to your report “At least 248 killed as powerful 7.1 earthquake strikes central Mexico” (Sept 21). More than 50 years ago, the great anthropologist and humanist, Margaret Mead had rightly forecasted that “Not war, but a plethora of man-made things is threatening to strangle us, suffocate us, bury us, in the debris, and by-products of our technologically inventive and irresponsible age.” Earthquakes can be a one-time event of a few seconds shaking or a series of events of varying duration. It can strike anywhere any moment, despite scientific advances. Now-a-days it has become a common feature and the main reason is the greed of the man who has played havoc with nature.
Compassionate participation of the people is the need of the hour. Earthquake preparedness can help reduce anxiety and minimise injury. Natural hazards in the form of floods and devastating earthquake may be having remoter relationship. We must use our seismological labs continuously to monitor Earth’s seismic waves to look for precursors. We should be prepared for aftershocks as earthquakes are often followed by additional quakes that follow the main event. We also need to learn from the lessons of those who have experienced such destructive and devastating tragedies.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)