Friday, July 06, 2007

the wake up call

I am so fed up with having to shout out against the development strategy that is happening here in Oman. With the the complete and utter disregard to the local Omani environment and natural habitat.

I decried against the enormous amount of unethical quick job that was done to applied the road system here in Oman without a major restructure of a proper sewage system; but Gonu happened and lo and behold: we are drenched in water up to our heads everywhere.

The houses that were allowed to build in flood zones got a taste of it after the unusual large rainy downpour that we had during the storm coinciding with strong winds. So what happens? Houses newly built were destroyed by the floods, wadis, and people died - even though the government would not admit to it.

Money can only get us to where we want if we plan out carefully and take all matters into consideration, even the very remote possibilities - after all, it is better to safe than sorry; is it not?

But has this stopped anyone from going on with the big projects here in Oman? The Wave still carries on it's building, even though it is now on hold because all the construction vehicles are being used to help out with the damaged property and streets all over Muscat. It's on the sea. If a Tsunami came into the Omani shores - God forbid - are we still going to have time to rebuild everything that was destroyed in such a matter of occurrence?

Other projects are being given the go ahead despite being a flood zone and the authorities are saying that there is nothing to worry about this time because instead of having low height service roads, they will be transformed into bridges in three months time. Despite that reassurance, the Qurum wadi that flooded the entire Qurum commercial area was about more than 5 meters high up to par to the parallel roads and it still destroyed everything.

Granted, this type of a natural disaster could only happen once in a blue moon, but let's face it: We are now on the verge of global warming and that alone is causing everything around us of changing weather patterns and it is still more to happen along the timeline of life.

Remember back when that Tsunami hit the entire Eastern hemisphere of globe? It was said back then, that the earthquacke that caused the Tsunami in the sea, was a 10 pointer on a Richter scale and that at that same time, the North and South poles had shifted clockwise by a certain degree and it is imminent that this shift would keep on going until the year 2050 changing Oman's climate from a semi-tropical country to having weather of that a European country.

One can never be prepared for nature's anguish. But it seems inevitable that we should be in it's path in the new few decades. For some reason, it is getting back at us. Perhaps because we have neglected it too much.

Isn't it about to have that wake up call?


muscati said...

The vast majority of Oman's population lives on the coast. Regardless whether a project like The Wave gets built or not, should a tsunami hit Oman's coast the death toll and destruction would be massive.

Oman's terrain is such that very few places are completely safe to live in. If you were to rule out anyplace that's in a wadi, by a wadi, or by the sea, what would you be left with? Where would be live?

By the way The Wave never stopped building. Construction is going on full tilt. As for the story about poles shifting, that sounds a bit hokey to me. Do you have a source for that?

Sleepless In Muscat said...

You may be right in what you say Muscati, but what about the poor planning for the road and sewage systems that are desperately needed for our infrastructure? How would you go about explaining that?

As for the poles shifting, I remember it was being discussed on Al Jazeera the moment that Tsunami had happened so I looked it up on the internet and found this page through google by searching 'magnetic poles shifting':