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Feelings are odd things.

There’s what you feel, what people think you feel, what people think you should feel and what you think others might think you should feel.

Yesterday morning an earthquake hit Yogjakarta. Yogja is an ancient city about seven hours drive from Surabaya. The death toll is at 3,500* and sure to climb.

How do I feel? Sad, concerned and somewhat mystified.

I’m sad for the loss of life and the pain of these people. I can’t say I feel sorrow, as I don’t know anyone there. Sorrow is a very deep and personal expression of emotion.

I’m concerned that this could happen here and that has raised concern for my family and friends.

Finally, I’m mystified at the lack of preparation, the general shoddiness of local construction and the scale of destruction.
This was a relatively minor quake, about 6.3, and the damage is much worse than it should be.

This is not my Western prejudice sneering at Indonesian folly. It’s government folly, and stupidity in general that I sneer at.
Just look to North America.
As hurricane season approaches in the Southern United States, have the local or federal governments prepared anything?

Take care of yourselves

*Unfortunately the death toll has climbed above 4,500


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