Are there more devastating natural disasters occurring closer together or is it the omnipresence of the media, the earth's huge population, disasters happening in densely populated areas, which makes the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami - and any disaster of this magitude - so frightening? Now Japan is confronted with a major nuclear catastrophe.
Our thoughts are with everyone in Japan who have suffered this terrible earthquake and tsunami and are now confronted with a major nuclear catastrophe which threatens to contaminate Tokyo, a megapolis of 35 million persons.
It is very troubling that it has taken a disaster of this magnitude to reconsider the safety of nuclear installations. The lesson it teaches us, as Pierre Ruetschi, chief editor of the Tribune de Genève writes, is the impossibility of foreseeing a major nuclear accident. The Japanese had foreseen earthquake, but not combined with a devastating tsunami. Being unable to foresee such an occurrence is a certainty. The other certainty is the “formidable devastating potential of the atom”.