Mt. Ontake Disaster

I heard Mt. Ontake in Central Japan just erupted, causing a grave disaster. I’ve never climbed that mountain but am fairly familiar with the name since I read about the earthquake that hit the area when I was in elementary school. For now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping the rescue will reach as many people as possible.

At this stage where not all details are clear, the only thing I wanted to say was this; please do not blame the survivors.

Though it seems just common sense, some people may be inclined to talk trash. Likewise, when a tunnel over Chuo Expressway collapsed, which one driver narrowly escaped by going flat out, I read some comments on the Internet like “So he was speeding.” If you know the term necessity in legal context you’d instantly know it’s off the point. Even if not, it was plain and clear that he did nothing wrong when he saved the lives of his wife and himself with his wise decision.

This time, there seems to be some cases where the survivors were unable to save wounded fellows nearby or in the same party as they escaped the mayhem at the mountain top. That happens. Even under normal circumstances, it takes a lot of energy and time to carry injured climbers down the mountain. When trapped in smoke and being exposed to “rocks the size of small cars falling down from the sky,” rescue attempt does not mean near death experience. It means death.

Psychologically, it is common to find the sense of regret and guilt in survivors of great disasters. Right now, resting the body and mind should be the only thing to do. PTSD counseling may also be necessary. But the last thing they need is irresponsible blaming from the audience.

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