최종편집 : 2020.4.2 목 11:57
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Disasters, Not Only in the Movies but in Real Life
Kwak Da-eun  |  dashineshere@cau,ac.kr
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승인 2020.03.18  10:45:59
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
In movies and novels, ‘natural disasters’ are used as a synonym for things that humans cannot control. Although there is some preparation for natural disasters, it is true they can be completely insurmountable. There are many disaster movies based on fears of a volcanic eruption. Recently, however, the word "natural disaster" has appeared not only in movies or novels, but also completely outside the media and in our everyday lives. Now let’s take a look at natural disasters that are no longer just the main characters in a movie.
 
Ashy City, the Eruption of Taal Volcano
   
 
Shortly after the movie ‘Ashfall’ was released, which is about the biggest eruption of Mt. Baekdu in history, real signs of a volcanic eruption were seen on January 12 at Taal volcano in the Philippines. Philippine authorities said that more than 75 earthquakes have been detected along with volcanic eruptions in the crater of Taal since the previous day. Mount Taal is the world’s smallest volcano, but lies in the Ring of Fire, an area prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The authorities evacuated about 30,000 residents near the volcano to shelters, and also about 40,000 residents in dangerous areas around the mountain. The most serious problem is damage from volcanic ash. The Associated Press reported that a number of stones from the crater had fallen like rain. In fact, the roofs of nearby households were covered with ash. Also, the grass that was normally eaten by livestock was now covered with ash, and the livestock were starving to death. It is literally a gray world.
 
“There Is Nothing We Can Do Anymore”, Nepal Avalanche
           There was a sad news on January 17th. Four South Korean teachers and three local Nepalese who were tracking in Annapurna in the Himalayas of Nepal went missing after being swept away by an avalanche. They were teachers from the education office in South Chungcheong Province who were staying for educational volunteer work. Immediately, the South Korean embassy in Nepal asked police for a search team, but it was hampered by unfavorable weather conditions. Along with a military search team, mountaineer Um Hong-gil led a drone search team, but eventually halted the search on January 23rd. "There is a possibility that the missing people are buried even 10 meters below the average depth," Um Hong-gil said. "I think there's nothing we can do anymore.”
 
Red Light from Earth, Australia Forest Fire
   
 
           If the above two events were natural disasters, Australia’s bloody sky is not only natural but also man-made. In Australia, the red sky, which is likely to appear at the end of the earth in movie, became real. It was because of a wildfire in Australia that had been going on since September last year. This left dozens of people dead or missing. Also, an area 100 times the size of Seoul (6.3 million ha) was destroyed. Ecologists at the University of Sydney estimated that about a billion animals have been killed by this forest fires. Among them, more than 8,000 of the total koala population, which is Australia’s symbol, has been killed. It is the so-called functional extinction which means any more independent survival is impossible. In addition, the air pollution was so serious that even the sky in New Zealand, 2,000 kilometers away, was covered with smoke from the fires.
           The more tragic fact is humans took part in the worst forest fire. This Australian forest fire broke out during a very unusual drought and heat wave. Most of southeastern Australia, where the flames had spread, recorded the driest January-August period in history. Temperatures also continued to soar. In January, the temperature of Sydney’s suburbs rose to 48.9 degrees. The forest fire, which started with dry lightning, lasted for months due to severe drought and heat waves. One of the main reasons for this climate change is global warming caused by coal emissions. In fact, Australia is one of the second-largest coal exporters in the world as of 2019. The coal they exported is used as a fossil fuel, and the greenhouse gases generated helped to cause global warming. The beginning of forest fire itself was nature, but it was humanity as a whole who created the atmosphere to allow the worst forest fire in history. Maybe Australia’s forest fire was a red light sent from Earth to not only Australia but the world?
 
Over the past two months, the media has reported a lot of damage from the natural disasters. What makes the news even more tragic is that, as Um Hong-gil said, humans are unable to completely defend themselves when a natural disaster occurs. Ironically, however, human beings are increasingly causing natural disasters in real life that have been, up until now, only “feared” in movies or novels. Therefore, we should make utmost efforts to confront the seriousness of environmental pollution and minimize the damage from natural disasters.
 
 

 

 
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