Sunday, February 28, 2010

Waving good-bye to the front page

It was all a bit surreal this morning. We awoke to tsunami warnings from the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre and a feverish media racing to bring us the details.

While Chile suffered a massive earthquake during the night, an extensive list of approximately 50 countries were issued with tsunami warnings. Warnings for the Australian east coast ranged from 3 metre waves to king tides to the ocean resembling a washing machine, with no significant land inundation expected.

Tragically, the earthquake has taken hundreds of lives in Chile and tsunamis have already taken lives on small islands in the Pacific. Certainly no one can blame us for being a little paranoid, but perhaps some calm warnings to stay out of the water and picnic elsewhere than the beach would have been sufficient. Instead, we got panicked live coverage from a calm Bondi Beach where scores of curious Sydney-siders gathered to see… 10 cm swells.

But hey, who cares that it all fizzled out to nothing. Thanks to our over-excited media, last night’s Sydney mardi gras failed to make headlines this morning.

© Eva Whiteley 2010

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