My memories of Sendai are that of beautiful natural mineral hot springs, gorgeous Fall foliage, traditional Japanese hotels, and an educated, outgoing, affluent population. I had the opportunity to lecture throughout Japan on a number of occasions, and Sendai always remains high up on my list of wonderful places to visit. The vast devastation unleashed by the most punishing earthquake in Japan’s history and the massive tsunami it triggered will certainly effect this region for some time to come as Sendai is the closest major city to the epicenter of the undersea earthquake. While no country may be better prepared for a major earthquake than Japan because of some of the strictest seismic standards for construction in the world and a state of the art tsunami warning system, the unfortunate lesson that may be learned from this natural disaster is that there is only so much that preparedness can do. Nature’s wrath can be a bitch.
The scenes we have been watching from Japan of roads splitting apart, buildings buckling and houses, cars, ships and trains being swept away were gut-wrenching because of everyone’s inability to do anything about it. In an instant, millions of Japanese people have been plunged into a state of fear, anxiety, suffering and hardship. At the Animal Medical Center, a good percentage of our clientele are Japanese or Japanese-American and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families during this most difficult of times. While the full extent of the damage and death toll will not be known for some time, I am proud to see that the US Government has acted swiftly by sending rescue and recovery teams and food and relief supplies and has pledged to do everything possible to aid the people of Japan.
On a personal note, we have contacted our veterinary colleagues in Japan and offered any and all assistance they may require in light of the formidable task of managing the potential massive injuries to livestock and pets, and the need to house these animals considering the tremendous loss of infrastructure. Based upon my personal experience, I am confident that the intelligence, resourcefulness, aptitude and ingenuity of the Japanese people will ensure that Japan will recover and rebuild quickly and will emerge stronger than ever in the aftermath of this tragedy.
The Animal Medical Center of Southern California is devoted to providing the best medical, surgicalm and emergency critical care available in veterinary medicine. As important as our medical expertise is, we believe that excellent care combines state-of-the-art veterinary medicine and surgery with a focus on compassion and respect for your pet and for your family.
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