First Japan was hit by a triple whammy. The country of 127 million has just endured one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, followed by a shockingly voracious tsunami. Together, these two brutes of nature wreaked havoc on the towns and villages of the northern Japanese coastline. If only the damage had stopped there. When the deadly combo of earthquake and tsunami breached the protective barriers and engulfed one of Japan’s oldest nuclear-power plants, a nuclear nightmare began, one that at this point has shown no clear signs of ending.
Then last Thursday a 7.4 quake hit, knocking out power for more than 3 million, and again shaking the country to its core. How could any nation bear so much?
The simple fact is that the Japanese archipelago is no stranger to cataclysmic events. Over time, the Japanese have endured more than their share of devastating natural disasters. As a people, they have always coped remarkably well—so well, in fact, we are left wondering if there isn’t something especially resilient about them. In fact, the Japanese are the only people on this planet to fully confront the horror of nuclear destruction, and to survive it. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of World War II has become the archetypal nightmare of our time. Strangely, those events share some striking similarities with the recent compound disaster.
Read the whole story: Newsweek