Sunday, April 26, 2009

CHAPTER 19: On The Edge of the Ring of Fire


This is an excerpt from Tsunami survivor Aaron Le Boutillier in his book “And Then One Morning.” For anyone caught up in the tsunami, however, it was all over in a matter of minutes. They were either alive or dead. Over a quarter of a million people lost their lives while millions who survived had to deal with the tragedy in countless ways. Aaron continues to live and work in Southeast Asia. The proceeds of his book continue to make a difference in Thailand. Read more about Aaron and his book here:

Aaron Le Boutillier

Chapter 19 – On the Edge of the Ring of Fire

The seventeen thousand islands that make up Indonesia represent one of the most volcanically and earthquake active regions on our Little Planet. Only Japan and maybe New Zealand come close. A major reason for this is that two massive continental plates are engaged in the Mother of All Wrestling bouts. And this is the brute force wrestling that I engage in. Not the Face-Paint, Sparkly Outfits and Porno Star Variety. Neither of these two continental masses is prepared to give an inch. They are involved in a fifty million year struggle. Every second of every day these massive forces are rubbing up against each other. And they will probably still be at this in another fifty million years when mankind is just another blip in the fossil record of evolution.

Back in those far-off geography lessons I recall learning about Mister Richter and his earthquake scale. In those far-off days it was fixed between one and ten. This always confused me.

“Sir, how could Mister Richter be so sure there would never be an earthquake bigger than ten?”

In researching for this book some twenty years after I had those lessons I have now learned that the Richter Scale has been modified to be an open-ended scale. Maybe if I had continued with geology we could have been discussing Le Boutillier’s Open-ended Modification of the Richter Scale. I could live with that small piece of fame. But instead, I drifted off to Phi Phi and allowed somebody else that glory.

And I found myself involved in one of the biggest earthquakes that had hit our Little Planet in recorded history.


Read more from Aaron Le Boutillier’ s book, “And Then One Morning” here:

Chapter 16 - A Washing Machine Springs a Leak (what happened in those initial minutes when the first wave hit).

Chapter 17 - Rumbles down below(in a brief second – how do you process what is happening to you?)

Chapter 18 - Hey Ma, I’m on top of the World (Saving people!)

Chapter 19 – On the Edge of the Ring of Fire(How could this happen?)

Chapter 20 – Phi Phi Hotel Becomes Sanctuary

Read more survivor stories at: TSUNAMI SURVIVOR SITE



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