Once again, the hi-tech earthquake warning system that rings every cell phone in Japan was just a bit trigger happy. While riding aboard a Yokohama-bound train this past Wednesday, Kaori and I both jumped a bit when hundreds of cell phones around us began wailing simultaneously. This is the "RUN! You-have-a-matter-of-seconds-to-take-cover!" warning sound that is supposedly meant to be of help. To be honest, I'm not sure where I might run or how well I could really take cover in that amount of time.
Once again, the person making the decision to push thebutton was just a bit overeager in his analysis of the computer data. Yet who could blame his "Better to err on the side of safety" way of thinking? So as, once again, alarms went off, passengers aboard the train looked about nervously and tightened their grip on things around them. (And yet the train did not slow down. Did the conductor know of the warning?) After a long minute of nothing happening, conversations, dozing, and book reading resumed.
Meanwhile a fairly large earthquake on New Years Day had no early warning at all. Early warnings without the real thing. The real thing without an early warning. All this tells me that technology for earthquake prediction still has a long way to go. And it tells me that the only place of true safety is in the arms of God, a good place to RUN!
"I've already run for dear life straight to the arms of God." Psalm 11:1 Message