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Earthquake Disaster Tourism


I have seen now the aftermath of an Earthquake. Maybe this is not true; there are levels of the aftermath. A friend called it Disaster Tourism the other day; I look at this more as a scientific endeavor or just plain Andy thingy, of me trying to understand. I have always been obsessive when it comes to trying to understand something. My friend Walt calls it - Grinding - he grinds a problems down or maybe - Chunks - it down to its smallest parts.

I do believe in Grinding.

I did not see the panic, death, and extreme hardship caused in the first 1-3 days after the earthquake.

 - Day 1 - May 27 Saturday Earthquake

Day 2 - May 28 Sunday Nepal

Day 3 - May 29 Monday

Day 4 - May 30 Tuesday - Flight Katmandu, Nepal to Bangkok, Thailand

Day 5 - May 31 Wednesday - Flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Solo, Indonesia

Day 6 - June 1 Thursday - Arrived in Yojyakarta in morning after sleeping in Singapore Airport.

Day 7 - June 2 Friday - Went to Bantul, Epicenter of Earthquake. Note: (I saw a map where it was not the epicenter.)

Television and Newspapers

I have been dwelling on a question I have inside myself.
- Why do I want to come and see an Earthquake? -

I feel it comes down to my desire to find the truth, to grind a question into the ground until I know every small specific aspect and gray area of the problem and hopefully the solution.

I think often of Thomas A Edison, inventor of the Light Bulb and his quote:
- Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. -

Studying Earthquakes and understanding an Earthquake will not stop an Earthquake. I wonder if there is any Scientist running around in the area collecting samples of buildings that fell, classifying and dwelling on the situation. In one more week there will be little to see, they will have cleaned up 70 percent of the debris.

I think this is it, everyone now sits around in their office trying to study something they could go and view themselves. The news media are the worst source of facts and information on the planet. To learn by reading news reports or watching television shows is negligent.

I saw a guy yesterday with a camera, he looked very serious, and I think maybe he was a freelance cameraperson. A starving person who is out taking photos of the Earthquake. This is not common.

On hindsight, if I had already made the choice, I am going to go see an Earthquake; it may have been possible to be at the site on Day 3 with cheaper flights, Day 2 with very expensive airplane flights.

It took me 2-3 days to think about it.

On the plane from Singapore to Solo there was a group of Medical Volunteers, they missed 90 percent of the need time.

In the end, I do believe the Military is the only groups ready, prepared and capable of entering areas correctly and quickly. UNICEF and the Red Cross are next best equipped; all the other NGOs are not in the game for the most part.

Well, a day off to collect my wits and off to see the Volcano of Mount Merapi, it is less than one hour from my present location. I will then fly to Bali to see the beach and do what I do best.