Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, an earthquake shook Mexico, monsoon floods battered Bangladesh and deadly mudslides buried people in Colombia. Nature often strikes us without warning and leaves us in shambles. Its wrath spares none. History is rife with examples of calamities that have even wiped entire civilisations off the face of the earth.
“Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of nature’s mandates,” French philosopher Marquis de Sade writes in his book Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings. It is the way of nature. As there is creation, there is also destruction. And every destruction comes with a silver lining of creation.
For instance, what if we told you that the great Deccan Plateau was formed by a volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago? In fact, it is one of the largest volcanic features on earth. Astonishing, isn’t it? Such is the beauty of nature. It is nurturing even at its worst. Soulveda explores the other side of natural disasters to understand how destructive endings could lead to positive beginnings.
Water is fundamental to humankind’s survival. That is perhaps why man is known to have settled down on river banks after which civilisations were formed. The fertile soil enabled agriculture and sustained various life forms. Soon, river valleys became the epicentres of civilisations. For instance, the Indus valley civilisation was built on the banks of River Indus. However, it is sad that the civilisation’s disappearance was also due to that same river. Historians believe one of the reasons for the downfall of the civilisation was a major flood in the region.
Floods have been one of the biggest forces of destruction in the history of mankind. However, despite the loss they bring about, floods are also known to contribute to the fertility of a region. When rivers overflow into the plains, there is a mutual exchange of organic matter between land and water. This makes the river banks fertile. Once the water recedes, the soil of the region is rejuvenated and refreshed. While floods take lives and destroy property, they also nurture new life.
Volcanic eruptions are credited for the creation of 80 per cent of mountains, plateaus, soil and rocks on earth.