Not Unsympathetic; however…!


December 12, 2019

New Zealand volcanic activity, Wikipedia, public domain

Dear Editor,

Not for one moment does my heart (as a father of three and grandfather of six) not go out to those having lost loved ones and to those so horrifically burnt in critical condition (and their families) in the New Zealand volcano disaster.

Nor do I not shake my head in wonder at the incredible selflessness, courage and skill of the New Zealand helicopter pilot and other magnificent NZ first-responders going into a Hell’s Kitchen to save others! However, it must be asked: what on earth were the NZ authorities thinking of — allowing sightseers to enter the very crater (as well as be on the very rim — of an active volcano? And what were people thinking of (despite any tour operators’ assurances) in doing any of the preceding?

To my mind, it’s rather like swimming in black wetsuits with great white sharks near a seal colony and/or poking a huge, sleeping male Siberian tiger in the ribs with a stick!


Howard Hutchins
Victoria, Australia

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