The people of Japan are in our thoughts

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The disasters in Japan involve the whole world, not just one country. Not only do we send rescue teams, money and supplies, but we also send scientist who study the impact of the disaster.
Preventing loss of life is the final goal. Learning how the Earth and its atmosphere works is the only way to limit the causalities. Sadly, the best time to study earthquakes and tsunamis, comes after the fact.
It takes events like the last two tsunamis, Class 5 hurricanes and tornadoes, or other calamities to learn how to cope when they do occur. Unfortunately people die. 
We have learned from tragedies in the past. A tsunami warning system was activated, and saved many. I’m sure hundreds died while taking refuge in the top floors of their homes. This earthquake and wave were bigger than most were expecting, and even some of the larger buildings were washed away.
The threat of a nuclear meltdown is a real threat, and the situation grows worse everyday. I’m sure reactors will no longer be permitted to be built on active fault lines. Engineers will develop homes able to withstand tsunamis by designing them with reinforced foundations in the shape of a flatiron to deflect a massive wave, with high sturdy rooftops for people to wait out the deluge.
Any area on a geologically active planet could experience catastrophe at any time. There are hazards from space that could strike not only one country, but could effect the entire globe; so far, we haven’t experienced anything greater than solar flairs, but I’m sure someday we will. Learning about these natural events will benefit us in the future.