Friday, March 11, 2011

The Sendai Earthquake

Well I was going to write a post today about the Junior High School graduation, however Mother Nature had other plans. At 2:45 this afternoon a massive earthquake struck near the northern city of Sendai. Thankfully for my city, the quake was far enough away that there is little to no damage, though we certainly felt it. I was driving at the time, and could feel the world shaking as my small car rocked back and forth for three minutes.  Thirty minutes later I was in the City Hall when a strong aftershock hit. The lights and signs were shaking back and forth and everybody inside paused to see if they needed to duck under the desk or not.

My apartment was mostly intact, with a few things knocked to the floor. Cornflakes all over the entryway.While there was no visible building damage in my area power had been knocked out over a wide swath of eastern Maebashi. My friend in neighboring Ibaraki prefecture, closer to the epicenter, reported some damage to walls and as well large swaths of power outages. Clearly, damage in the north is of epic proportions. Japan Rail has stopped running, so now several of us are ensconced in a friends house that is near the center of the city that still has power, and internet.

The aftershocks have kept coming, though most of them have been pretty minor. I think we are all ready for the earth to stop moving.

9 comments:

jalexissmith said...

glad to hear you are ok! thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

I'm in Pennsylvania and my students have penpals in the Sakuragaoka Junior School in Sendai. Any news?

Travelingrant said...

Unfortunately there is little news out of Sendai at the moment. The city has been very hard hit, and power and cell lines are out of commission. There is an immense relief effort under way though, so hopefully we will here something soon.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will watch for your posts.

Island Auntie said...

Isn't it amazing that California took a bigger hit from this earthquake-induced tsunami than Hawaii? The tides have been freaky here on Oahu since it passed through, very fast moving highs and lows, both more extreme than I've ever noticed before. Can't imagine the rocking and rolling that caused all this but now you can! Living history.

Travelingrant said...

The good news is that while the ocean side of Sendai has been very hard hit, the city center is relatively intact. Looking at the maps, Sakuragaoka is pretty central, and while I haven't found anything specific about the school I think and hope that they are all safe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I haven't read that the school is being used as an evacuation center, so I'm hoping that it means that the students that were in there remain there and are safe. I'll keep looking for news, though. Thank you again.

Jaimie Foster said...

I know what you mean about wanting to post about graduation! I feel like all the good happy things I was going to write (I had been saving them for one big "graduation post") were thrown out the window. Congratulations on the end of the school year, anyway, though! :)

Anonymous said...

...good mornin' grant.....i apologize for taking so long to email you.....we were so filed with joy to hear from your mom that you were okay......we also want to let you know how much we appreciate your commitment to the children you are teaching....your soul is big...love & prayers your way.....dr john conrardy.....