November 27, 2011 Musings
The Calm after the Storm
We live in a country with few large scale natural disasters. No typhoons or cyclones, no volcano eruptions threatening to wipe out entire cities, no earthquakes to speak of (in front of Californians, Japanese or others living on top of faults between constantly shifting tectonic plates) and no heath waves in the real, southerly sense of the world.
This does not mean that we have not had our share of landslides, avalanches, floods, storms and other challenges. People here have traditionally had, and many still have, to fight their own battles against Mother Nature, in order to make a living in this, it sometimes seems, godforsaken periphery of civilization. Population being scarce in the most challenged or accident prone areas, though, reduces the extent of material damage and human casualties, compared to similar events in other parts of the world.
Moreover we have over the generations learned and had the possibility to build houses and prepare ourselves to literally weather out many a storm. So when “Berit”, a hurricane in places “providing” winds of 35 m/s and waves up to 36 meters high, just paid us a visit, the damage was huge, but not qualifying as a national disaster.
In this case we even had a warning in form of weather forecasts; we had time to brace ourselves, bolt the doors and batten down the hatches, so to speak.
The most scary storms are usually the ones that strike without warning. Like the moody alpine winds, out of the blue sweeping down from the mountains, onto the unsuspecting blue calm of the Tuner See, in which the peaks themselves only seconds before reflected their majestic selves. Capsizing boats, throwing people overboard.
But even expected bad times, weather- or otherwise, may deal us serious blows…
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