The Big Earthquake – 10 years ago today

This was my blog post from 10 years ago today:

You can go there and follow subsequent posts and see how things played out over the days and weeks after the big one hit. There are comments from worried friends. You can see the empty store shelves as deliveries stopped. A report on how the earth’s axis shifted as a result of the quake. The special edition newspaper headline about it having been a magnitude 9 quake. The reports about the devastating tsunami. The news reports starting to come in about something going on at Fukushima and radiation worries (some neighbors tried to flee to go south, I sealed up my house). News about the rolling blackouts (which ended up not affecting my area because of a water processing plant). Stores closing early because of power shortages. The endless aftershocks…

But all I posted on the day of the earthquake was this:

First, I am ok. I can’t believe how many aftershocks there are. Lots of things fell over in my house. It’s still shaking slowly between aftershocks.  I was in the supermarket at the time and shelves fell over. Everybody ran outside and I held on to a bicycle post. I think the earthquake magnitude was upgraded to 8.9. Headed home. No real damage but lots of things fell over and hard to walk in the house. The neighbors keep going back inside and then going out again when an aftershock hits. By far the strongest earthquake I ever experienced. Airports closed. Trains stopped. Landline and cell phones stopped. But the power is on and the Internet is working! I’m probably crazy to be indoors. I’ll go out again if there’s another aftershock.

By March 15th I had posted:

Things are much better here in the capital than elsewhere. The main problems here are just inconveniences: uncertain cell and phone service, a transportation break-down, stores closing because of power shortages, empty store shelves. But there isn’t much of any physical damage in Tokyo itself. Things are calm. It’s very difficult for people trying to commute to work, but I work out of my house. There are unnerving aftershocks, wondering what’s happening with those nuclear power plants north of here and waiting for information about the search and rescues in Miyagi. But we are relatively lucky here in central Tokyo.


The Big Earthquake – 10 years ago today — 5 Comments

  1. Yeah, it certainly brings back memories. I notice the newspaper is dated March 13, so it took them a full day plus change to get it out, but it looks like they did get a lot of information in it. I was outdoors, just ready to come home from visiting Kazuko in the hospital, and I was able to keep standing, but it was a very rocky are (foothill to Mt. Takao?) and I think your area is probably not so rocky, closer to the sea, and more in a direct line from the epicenter. Not sure about any of this, though, but I remember, like you, reassuring friends and relatives in the US via perfectly functioning internet.

  2. It was actually the delayed response of printed newspapers that finally caused me to unsubscribe and get all my news via the Internet going forward.

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