Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earthquake in Japan 2011

Its been awhile since I have posted anything on my blog because well frankly, my life has become quite normal here in Tokyo. No crazy touristy or things you may find interesting back home. However, the past week something eventful happened not only to me but to all of Japan.

On Friday March 11 at around noonish a 9.0 Earthquake struck Northern Japan in the Sendai area. In Tokyo I believe we felt a very shakey 6.0 I was teaching at my part-time job (Children's fitness coach) when all of a sudden a mother came running over to her child. At first I thought the child hurt himself but soon after the shaking in the ground could be felt. I looked at my co-worker as we both stood there confused and then the lights began to sway, the rock wall began to pound against the wall, the doors swung open and shut and the power lines outside began to sway heavily. It was probably the biggest earthquake Ive been in since I was a child (Northridge). Luckily we were in a brand new building (2007) so no danger and we didnt feel it as much.

As the day drew to an end word was that the transportation stopped. Many co-workers became stranded as the rest of Tokyo was. The streets were crowded with people the combini's out of food, restaurants closed because of gas shut offs, Buses filled to over max capacity, and traffic jams. It was all pretty wild.

As I made the 45 minute walk home, I was completely unaware of the effects that the Earthquake had had at the epicenter. I arrived home to my apartment which had been thrown inside-out. Everything fell off the shelves, my desks were inches from the walls where they were once touching and the bathroom floor wet from the toilet water swaying out of the reserve tank. My Facebook blew up with 50 msgs from friends and emails from family concerned about my well being.(Thank you again for the concern I<3 you guys) I was completely fine and probably freaked them out a bit because of my late response (i was at work so they were unresponded for 8 hours). I wasnt sure why I had so many messages. Usually ill get a couple but this was a large amount! I finally checked up on the news and saw the chaos.

It was incredible to see first person footage of the tsunami as well as heartbreaking photos of the survivors and victims.

Tokyo wasnt so bad. Sure we had supply shortages, constant aftershocks and the once great Tokyo transportation system was put on standby but things didnt seem bad. Soon after word of the nuclear reactor emergency caught wind. Fellow students at Temple University, Japan began to return to their homes in fear of more earthquakes and possible radiation problems. It started with a couple quick ones (no more than 2 days after the quake) and quickly snowballed to as of now maybe around 50 (that me and friends know of). Again I felt the situation was not dire for Tokyo. My parents were concerned of course but I convinced them to let me stay. Even though school was postponed 2 weeks. My roommate was the same. Not scared but cautious of the situation, mostly the nuclear plant. Yesterday however, his parents gave him the inevitable "I dont care where but get out of Japan" talk, and when his parents said it, that was it. My parents also on the edge, themselves began to demand I lay low out of Tokyo for awhile as the plant situation seemed to just keep getting worse.

This brings us to the present. Ill be on a plane to Taiwan tomorrow to wait out the problem until school begins again (if it does at all) and play the situation by ear as thats really all I can do. Hopefully the problems clear up where the public is safe once again and life goes back to normal, power comes back, I can finish school and graduate on time, my friends can enjoy themselves when they visit in April.

Looking positively as thats the way to live.

Ill keep you guys updated through facebook etc.

Also, please donate to help the people of Japan hit by the tsunami and earthquake. Redcross makes it easy by texting REDCROSS to 90999 and $10 donation will be made.

T-Shirts can be bought for 5 dollars and proceeds will go to the victims (UCI students hit me up for details) (they are nice tshirts too, well made)

Donations can be made through paypal or iTunes

and I think in the LA area some dance events will be fundraising for the cause.

Lets pull together and help these innocent people. TAKE ACTION and not just feel sorry. Its a little sacrifice on your part.

/end long post

- JDM Harry

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy hearing your version of events (I know I'm way late on reading this). But you know we're all glad you're okay. Plus you seem to be having a great time in Taiwan. Keep safe Harry! ^_^