Prophecy in today's headlines

Gambling With A Game of Earthquake Roulette




I try not to dwell on The Big One, like many denizens of the Ring of Fire, that 25,000-mile-long horseshoe of insecurity from South America to Japan, where Pacific plates collide with coastal crust. It is native ground for about 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.

If you’re stuck on a high bridge over a steep canyon, or riding in an elevator passing to the 50th floor, or crossing calm seas in a ferry, the world is orderly, predictable, a pleasant real-time screen-saver. But in less than a minute of ground-shifting, that bridge could twist and swing, tossing every car to the canyon floor, that elevator could become stuck in an unmoored building held in gravity’s grip, and that ferry could turn into a toy in the bathtub of a sloshing tsunami.

As I said, we Ring of Fire inhabitants must keep such thoughts at bay, the willful act of daily denial that is our existence on an unstable surface. It takes a large and lethal quake to remind us, as was said after the 1989 Bay Area temblor postponed the World Series, that nature bats last.

via Earthquake Roulette – Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com.

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