We were in Nara and just learning about the big earthquake and tsunami. We had spent the day visiting some local shrines and temples including the Hasedera and the Yakushiji. Meanwhile one of my acquaintainces was in Thailand. She is back there this year and blogging about what she sees.
Of all the ways to put into perspective the estimated 200,000 deaths of that day I think that some 1000 year old Buddhist temples are a good way. Survival can be a random thing, why would (for example) the East Pagoda of the Yakushiji survive 1000 years when all the other buildings have burned down at least once?