Japan Earthquake Photos: 80,000 Missing In Nameless Apocalypse
HOW do you report on the earthquake in Japan? Unlike volcanoes and hurricanes earthquakes don’t get names. They are just a number. This one is said to have hit 8.9 on the Richter scale. And then there is the next grim number – the one that says how many people died.
The newspapers agree that 1000 people are feared dead.
The BBC reports:
Japanese police told Kyodo news agency 433 people are confirmed to have died and 784 more are missing.
Or as the Mirror puts it:
Hundreds dead and up to 80,000 missing in Japan tsunami
It’s a big number. And, as yet, we have no single face to cling to that makes sense of it.
So. How to make sense of massive nature? The newspapers react on their front pages:
Independent: “The day that shook Japan”
This is right. Only Japan has suffered. The San Francisco Chronicle spoke of a tsunami warning in that US city. Reading on we leant of waves 2-feet high. Surfers might snort with derision, or disappointment.
Daily Mirror: “Day the Earth Shook”
Well, yes, technically. But did your world shake? The Mirror wants to make it a news event relevant to its readers. But it isn’t. This is about them, not us.
The Sun: “APOCALYPSE”
Let’s not downplay an already big disaster. As you sit at your computers and look out on a sunny day, know that the world has ended.
Daily Mail: “Nature’s Deadly Rage”
The power of nature is incredible and awesome. Rage implies anger. What is Gaia angry at? Well, humanity, of course. It’s all about us.
Daily Express & Daily Star: “Wave of Death”
Reality becomes a B movie.
Times: “Waves of destruction”
Guardian: “Huge earthquake devastates Japan”
Daily Telegraph: “Nuclear alert amid fears of leak at quake reactor”
Sky News writes:
Radioactive steam has been released to reduce rising pressure in the plants and the Japanese prime minister has ordered thousands of people living within six miles to leave the area. The commission’s Ryohei Shiomi said officials were checking whether a meltdown had taken place at the Daiichi power plant. Shiomi said that even if there was a meltdown, it wouldn’t affect humans within a six-mile radius
But like all major disasters, this is best told is pictures: