Occurring at a shallow depth of 5 kms below the earth surface, the worst disaster to strike New Zealand in 80 years resulted in the death of at least 75 people.
The next was the news of the Super Moon on 19th March 2011.
The moon, as we know, has an elliptical orbit around the earth.
At some times, it's farthest away from us. This is known as the Apogee. The moon was it's Apogee on 6th March 2011.
And at some times, it's the closest to us. This is known as the Perigee. And on 19th March, we will have the moon on it's perigee. It's the closest it has got to us in the last 18 years.
The day coincides with the full moon. This in effect means that the moon will appear unusually larger to all of us from the earth.
While this is a phenomenon which occurs at regular intervals, it has been quite feared by astrologers. While some are predicting earthquakes, others are fearing huge storms, volcanoes, and other natural disasters.
And as with every celestial event, the debate is on. Catch one here.
But while all of these possibilities were being discussed and debated, the world watched with great horror about the earthquake in Japan on 11th March 2011. The worst fears had come true.
A massive earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale had occurred off the coast of Fukushima, Japan. It was the biggest quake ever to strike Japan.
It occurred at a depth of 24.4 kms below the earth's surface, below the sea. It was preceded by a series of large fore shocks, just two days prior to 11th March - measuring 6 or more on the Richter scale.
Read more details here.
But what hurt most was the Tsunami that resulted from the trembler. The quake right below the sea resulted in a mass displacement of water, causing a wave of Tsunami's across the entire North East coast of Japan.
The water just flowed into the mainland and swallowed up everything in it's path, leaving behind a trail of destruction. The scale of devastation is simply too immense to be conveyed with words.
Entire towns, homes, cities have been swept away by the water. Everything that came in the way of fury of the waves were washed away.
This view from the sky just wrenches my heart. Similar videos from YouTube have left me numb. Catch one such video here and here. The scale of destruction unleashed by these killer waves is simply unfathomable.
Only God will know the strain, the pain that would have gone through the minds of the people as they helplessly saw the sea rummaging towards them.
The damage from the quake and the resulting tsunami is yet to be assessed. While thousand's of people are thought to be dead, the damage to life and property is considered to be in billions. And rebuilding a big part of the nation from such a big calamity would require a lot of effort and perseverance.
Google has opened a crisis response page - for helping Japan with the quake response.
We pray to God to help Japan and her people to overcome the crisis soon and come back stronger than before.