Tuesday, April 19, 2011
It is hard to take a photo during a blackout at night. Funny thing about blackouts, there just doesn't seem to be as much light as usual. Though things have been good on that front, all the scheduled blackouts for the past several weeks have been canceled for now, as the weather has been fine and power usage has been down. Though people are worried about summer. This past summer was a scorcher, and this year is predicted to be similar. How the damaged power supply grid will respond to everybody running the a/c all night remains to be seen, but the idea has people in high places concerned.
The gasoline lines are gone here too. They only lasted a few weeks, but it was interesting to see the laws of supply and demand at work. Luckily the gas companies engaged in a bit of charitable price fixing. Gas prices did go up, but only moderately. I lucked out both times I had to fill up, sneaking in to the line right as it opened. Looking back on things, it is amazing that it took less than a month to clear up the gasoline issues, especially considering that much of the import and refining machinery in North and Eastern Japan was damaged to outright wrecked by the Earthquake.
Though even so, power problems and gasoline shortages were effects of the earthquake that were felt here in Gunma, but had causes hundreds of miles away. Locally, some of the only actual damage I saw was like this, roof top tiles knocked asunder. While I wouldn't want to have my own roof looking this beat up, especially with spring rains coming, it must be admitted that on a scale of 1 to "your house got washed away by a wall of water" this rates pretty low.
All this is to say, here in Gunma, we got lucky. Aftershocks continue, though with days between them instead of hours, but all in all, life is back to normal.