[EDITORIALS]Human error adds to damageAn earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit the northeastern part of Pakistan on Saturday, taking more than 18,000 lives and leaving 40,000 people wounded. Authorities expect the death toll to rise as more and more damage is being reported. The number of people who lost their homes in this earthquake cannot even be counted as of now but it is expected to be very large.
We would like to express our condolences to the people of Pakistan who are suffering from this natural disaster. We ask the government and people of Korea to exercise their humanitarian solidarity and send urgently-needed relief to the region and actively participate in the restoration job. Already, countries and people around the world are sending help to Pakistan. The solidarity and spirit of fraternity that mankind showed after the tsunami hit Indonesia at the end of last year and Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans last month continues to be apparent in the reaction to this earthquake in Pakistan.
Recently, there has been a string of large and small natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes, all around the world. It seems the frequency and scale of natural disasters is increasing every year. There are claims that hurricanes have become more frequent and intense because of global warming but there is nothing mankind can do about most natural disasters. Religious and spiritual beliefs that these natural disasters are a warning of how humans are weak and helpless before nature and a result of mankind’s arrogance are starting to sound convincing.
This does not mean we should all fall into apocalyptic desperation. Humans have never bowed to the harsh tyranny of nature and that is how we have progressed and will continue to progress. However, a more humble attitude towards nature would better prepare us for natural disasters and allow us to recover faster in the aftermath. While we cannot stop these disasters from occurring, we can be better prepared for and cope with them more efficiently. Many times, damage caused by natural disasters is aggravated by human shortsightedness and mistakes. Korea is threatened by typhoons every year and has started to become vulnerable to large-scale earthquakes. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of redoubling our efforts to cut down on man-made complications following natural disasters.