Belfast Telegraph

Bravery of those who filmed Japan's nightmare

By Lindy McDowell

Ships being picked up by the monster wave and tossed aside like a child's toys, cars desperately fleeing engulfed in the black tide, houses ripped from their foundations and floating intact along the raging torrent that was once a city street ...

The pictures and video from the devastation of Japan are beyond any previous scale of horror. You imagine all too well the terror those poor people must have felt in their last seconds. You imagine what if it had been you or your family.

But it's not just the scenes in front of the cameras that are haunting. Rarely has any natural disaster been so graphically recorded. What, you have to wonder, became of the people who took those pictures and videos we see nightly on our screens?

They have presumably survived. But what a nightmare they must have been through. And what presence of mind to go on filming when they surely must have feared for their own lives.

The images they captured have given the rest of the world a terrifyingly close view of apocalypse.

They may even give scientists some help in preparing for tsunamis in the future.

For poor, broken Japan and her people, however, the immediate future is now about survival and saving life.

Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown - not even the sickest of dark imaginations could have foreseen such a hat-trick of horror.

As the rest of the world sparks into action with a massive aid operation, the heroism of the stricken Japanese people and their rescuers is rightly saluted.

But we should also spare a thought for the cameramen and women who brought us those dramatic, shocking images - and brought home to us all the full hellish scale of Japan's suffering.

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