Seriously, with all the wacky Mother Nature gone wild stuff that's started off 2010, you'd think maybe the Mayans were 2 years off their "end of the world" date!
First the earthquake in Haiti and all the ensuing chaos and destruction and madness highlighting the drastic situation in one of the poorest countries in the world. Massive snowstorms across North America and Europe. Floods destroying whole towns in Madeira due to some insane rainstorms (with almost equally bad consequences here in Spain). Xynthia, a crazy freakish windstorm called a "cyclogénesis explosiva" (just the name is scary!) heading up along the Canary Islands, along the península and now up the coasts of France and further north... with gale-force winds to such a point there are "red alerts" in all the northern provinces, people are "ordered" to stay indoors, ships have left the harbours so as not to be run aground.
And now a record 8.8 Richter-scale EARTHQUAKE in Chile!!! (impressive and scary photos here) With an epicentre near the city of Concepción where several of my friends hail from (I've talked to one of them who lives in Spain, coincidentally in the path of those hurricane winds! his family is all fine, thank God! although without water, electricity, telephones etc.). Reports of roads "bending like paper", bridges falling, ground and streets collapsing in on themselves (sinkhole type), a couple of newer buildings falling in like a house of cards. The famous Panamerican Highway is broken in several locations. My friend said reports of destruction in Concepción are pretty horrifying, and since they've been so isolated due to road collapses and no electricity there have been very few images coming out of there. The only reason things aren't as serious as in Haiti is because the country (and its people) is definitely more prepared for this type of emergencies. I guess that's what happens when you live on the border between 2 tectonic plates... I remember living in Mexico City (that country is over 6-7 tectonic plates!) we all knew what to do in the case of an earthquake. My first was "fun" (apparently my friend's nephews feel the same way right now), the next two had me really scared/worried (I evacuated my sisters out of the house once and apparently terrified a friend of my sister's who was visiting that evening).
Then the "tsunami" alerts all across the Pacific (another friend in Hawaii said yesterday the cops were driving around the coastal area blasting out warning announcements from speakers, of the "get above a 3rd floor" variety) with some massive waves having already taken out a couple of towns along the Chilean coast and several Pacific Islands...
Dare I ask... what's next?!?!?!