The most heart-breaking and arresting sentence (or, rather, portion of a larger sentence) I’ve encountered on the Japan earthquake and tsunami was penned at Salon this morning by Matt Zoller Seitz:
[W]omen and children walking and in some cases swimming through the remains of cities, yelling the names of loved ones who haven’t been heard from in days.
This is horror: a city’s ambient noise interrupted by earthquake, then coming to a full (and ominously silent) stop, followed by the roar (a bit later) of ocean water—followed by yet another silence: of a cityscape denuded.
But then another sound builds. Like a scene from Dante’s Inferno, the walking and wading dead (that is, the survivors), desperate and incomprehending, cast voices in all directions to loved ones—which return as echoes.