English Posts Life

Are You At A Safe Place or Just At The Right Time?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009Traveliztera

I'm currently watching "Seconds From Disaster" on the National Geographic channel and this episode's about the collapse of Sampoong mall in Seoul, Korea. I've seen this episode a few years ago and it always leaves this eerie feeling inside me.

THE STORY (from Wikipedia)

In April 1995, cracks began to appear in the ceiling of the south wing's fifth floor. During this period, the only response carried out by Lee and his management involved moving merchandise and stores from the top floor to the basement.
On the morning of June 29, the number of cracks in the area increased dramatically, prompting managers to close the top floor and shut the air conditioning off. The store management failed to shut the building down or issue formal evacuation orders, as the number of customers in the building was unusually high, and the store was not intending to lose potential revenue for that day. However, the executives themselves had left the premises as a precaution.
Civil engineering experts were also invited to inspect the structure, with a cursory check revealing that the building was at risk of collapse; the National Geographic documentary series Seconds From Disaster indicates that the facility's manager was examining the slab in one of the restaurants on the fifth floor, eight hours before the collapse, when, unknowingly, vibration from air conditioning was radiating through the cracks in the concrete columns and the floor opened up.
Five hours before the collapse, the first of several loud bangs was emitted from the top floors, as the vibration in the air conditioning caused the cracks in the slabs to widen further. Amid customer reports of vibration, the air conditioning was turned off, but the cracks in the floors had already widened to 10 cm.
At about 5:00 p.m. Korea Standard Time (UTC+9:00), the fourth floor ceiling began to sink, resulting in store workers blocking customer access to the fourth floor. According to Seconds From Disaster, the store was packed with shoppers 52 minutes before the collapse, but the owner did not close the store or carry out repairs at that time. When the building started to produce cracking sounds at about 5:50 p.m., workers began to sound alarm bells and evacuate customers.
Around 5:52 p.m., the roof gave way, and the air conditioning unit crashed through into the already-overloaded fifth floor. The main columns, weakened to allow the insertion of the escalators, collapsed in turn, and the building's south wing pancaked into the basement. Within 20 seconds, all of the building's columns in the south wing gave way, trapping more than 1,500 people and killing 500.

There had been a lot of structural collapses (due to miscalculations in the process of building or just because of corruption wherein the management chooses to risk lives for their own fortune) all over the world and we'll never know if the structure we're living in or even working at can actually be safe. Who knows? But of course, if it's really your time, it really IS your time. Anyway, back then, after having watched this certain episode, I was always paranoid whenever I go to huge malls or buildings. I always pray that my day will be safe. I know that the structures are not the only factors because you can always meet other accidents but you know that paranoia you get after watching something tragic? I was having that moment. Everybody can make mistakes and you just never know right? Everyone in this world has a continuous interaction and even a single person's mistake can greatly affect a lot of us. Honestly, the Glorietta tragedy scared me but then again, you'll never know when and where is safe. You just have to live your life and pray that everything will be okay that day. Everyone has their own destiny but we can still do something regarding those moments wherein everything can totally be prevented. For now, we just need to pray, prevent, be optimistic, and be alert. If it really is our time to go, it really is our time to go.

Oh my... Midlife (and I'm just 20 lol) crisis mode again!? LOL.

Check out the blog that my friend, Dom, created to raise awareness regarding our environment. She invited me to co-author it and I accepted. The blog is called "Voice of Fragile Earth". Feel free to visit. :)

Photo from http://anengineersaspect.blogspot.com.

You Might Also Like

19 Travelers with Comments. Click to comment!

  1. We're never safe. There isn't a place on earth where we're safe. I mean, even at the comforts of our very own homes, bad things could still happen to us. People just need to be more cautious, not too trusting, and should also learn to listen.

  2. My dad always tells us that if it is your time, then it will be your time. Such a sad and scary thing to dwell upon, but that's reality. I try and block those thoughts and just live out my life to the fullest. :)

    Hey, so you in on the lip tar thing? Haha, it's so tempting right? :)

  3. russ - True... People really have to be alert to prevent any preventable accidents...

    Nina - yeah... It scares me and this thought pushes me to always be productive to make the most out of my life... Yeah, it really is tempting. I also love the brand name lol cos I have an OCD lol.

  4. I must confess to fear of crossing bridges or overpasses. Always worry they are going to collapse. I especially hate those that vibrate or sway when you cross them.

    A few years ago, in Montreal, an overpass collapsed. I was wondering why the traffic was so heavy - because further up the road, an overpass had collapsed. Mind you, I was taking a different exit, so I was several km from where the collapse happened.

    It was not a surprise to me because anyone who has ever seen the bridges and overpasses in Montreal knows there are lots of cracks and broken chunks of concrete in the facing (facing is the layer of cement they spread over something to make it look nice and smooth). It could be argued tha the facing is only cosmetic, but, still, falling bits of concrete, even if cosmetic, are still a danger.

    Not to mention dangers from falling concrete slabs.

  5. Richard - wow same here... whenever there's traffic and we're stuck on a bridge or a flyover, I'm trying my best to just think about something else... I do understand that some do move so that they don't break and will just go along with the wind or earthquake or whatever circumstances for flexibility but it's hard to distinguish if there's something wrong or if it's just normal... those stuff you said are really scary. . .

  6. Siguro, I've got to be proud sa mga structures and buildings natin dito sa Pinas... Dahil matitibay talaga, except for the Public buildings and structures lang siguro na kinurakot kaya kulang ang materyales...

  7. I always believe swertihan lang. You might think safe ka sa place mo, but accidents happen, so di maiwasan minsan.

    Like nung Ondoy - NCR tinamaan. Si Pepeng - mga taga PAngasinan naman.

    Swertihan! ;D

  8. When ever I got out, I am so scared at places that seems to be a safe like malls but when I am at a place that is so prone accident or crime prone area (i.e. Recto etc.) I feel much safer. Weird pero I feely that way talaga.

    As my gf will say it, pag oras mo na, oras mo na talaga.

  9. axel - same here... rare may bumabagsak na mga structures dito except ung sa quiapo dati e mukhang luma naman na talaga un and d na ginagamit un... haha kaya wag ka na tatawid sa mga may nakalagay na "project by" hahahahaa :P jk

    chyng - yup... if it really is your fate, then so be it... :)

    baby boy - tlaga? siguro dhl u know what to expect ? hahaha kasi pag masyadong peaceful ang lugar, ang eerie...d mo lm ano pdeng mangyari lol... onga e... if it is your time, it is your time. :)

  10. Yes, anytime could be our time. I remember Final Destination with this story.

  11. madz- Final Destination... yeah... that movie still freaks me out ...

  12. oo nga, known sa buong munda na magagaling engineers natin wag lang maging corrupt... Kaya nga sikat sa Middle East ang mga engineers natin eh...

  13. axel - onga e... tsaka ewan a pero mga pinoy super talagang ayaw mang-risk ng buhay... super mas matimbang un kesa sa pera. aun o. hehehe... go axeeeeeeeeeeeel

  14. This must have been terrifying for those in the stores. My heart goes out to them. Good reminder of the sanctity of life.

  15. sandra - yes... there's this one girl who stayed for almost 2 days buried underneath and lived on drinking rain water to survive... life--u just gotta appreciate it

  16. AWARD Alert! Award for you! Go get it at my place!

  17. sandra - wow... it's an honor... thank you so much!!! :)

  18. tingin ko, kapag oras mo na, di mo naman talaga malalaman unless andun ka na talaga sa point na yun.danger is just around the corner waiting...(so?)..kaya ako, just try to be awake, alert all the time and live life to the max!
    (parang slogan?!)haha


Feel free to leave your thoughts!

Don't forget to click "SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL" below the comment box to get notified if you received any replies from other commenters.

Australian Women Bloggers Directory by Blog Chicks

Personal - Top Blogs Philippines