Friday, March 11, 2011


Here in Japan there was just  the largest Earthquake ever measured.  As I write this, according to BBC World News, 26 have been confirmed dead and many missing.  The excact number continues to change, but it seems to be about an 8.7 on the richter scale.

I'm writing this, so I'm ok.  Please, stop worrying.  My parents who are also visiting are ok.

This is not the first shock I have felt in Japan but the first two were small, so small that I don't need to do anything, and I didn't realize it after wards.  This one we we're sitting in a coffee shop waiting for it to be four to check into our hotel.

I thought I felt it shaking a little and asked my parents if I was actually feeling the first of the tremours or not.  When my father said he did too, I felt that I wasn't crazy.  We all agreed not to worry until the locals did.  when it started to pick up we stood underneath the arch as we were sitting outside drinking.  Some of the Japanese made a break for the Large street to the centre and others went inside and hid underneath the table.  One poor Japanese girls was in tears.  It ended rather quickly and we decided to sit down and finish our drinks.  Slightly disturbed we decided to head towards the hotel if for nothing else but for instructions.

For now, that is all.  I will tell you more of our adventures in an Earthquake later but I leave you with the e-mail the Canadian Embassy sent me.

Dear Canadian citizen,

As you may have heard on the news already, a powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake

with a depth of 24.4 km, struck off the east coast of Honshu, Japan on 11 March

2011 at 14:46 local time (00:46 Ottawa time).   The US Geological Survey indicated

that the quake was centered 130 km east of Sendai, 178 km east of Yamagata, 178

km east-northeast of Fukushima, and 373 km northeast of TOKYO, Japan.  A series

of significant aftershocks, ranging in size from 5.8 to 7.1 magnitude, have

struck the same area over the past few hours.

2.  A tsunami warning and watch has been issued for coastal Japan.  It is expected

  that these warnings and watches could take as much as 6-12 hours before they are

lifted or possible impacts are known.

3.  According to media, the earthquake is reported to have caused violent shaking

and triggered at least a 10 metre tsunami which impacted parts of coast Japan

near the epicentre, flooding farmland, possibly sweeping away some homes, crops,

vehicles, and triggering fires.  Media also reports that several people were

buried in a landslide, at least one person has been killed, power was cut to four

million homes in and around Tokyo, many sections of Tohoku expressway serving

northern Japan have been damaged, and bullet trains to the north of the country

have stopped operating.  In addition, Tokyo's Narita airport is closed, flights

halted, and passengers have been evacuated. The Tokyo underground has also halted

its suburban trains.  Media have also reported that eight military planes have

been dispatched to the area to survey the damage. Prime Minister Naoto Kan has

ordered the military to do all that is required to act quickly and effectively

to respond to the earthquake. The
  Japanese Government's Cabinet is expected to meet shortly.

Please take precautionary measures by avoiding low-lying areas, shorelines of

rivers and coastal regions for the next 24 to 48 hours.  Also, please be certain

to follow any safety instructions issued by your local municipalities in the

various regions of Japan.

For additional information please refer to the Japan Meteorological Agency website:

As this earthquake is receiving media coverage by international media outlets, you

might consider contacting your family and friends back in Canada to advise them

of your safety status.  It is possible that the telephone network is now

congested due to an increase in the volume of calls, and that people should keep

trying until they can get through.

Stay safe,

Consular Section
Embassy of Canada, Tokyo, Japan."

1 comment:

  1. CLIFFHANGER!!!! the author in you must be laughing maniacly right now at the scrumptiousness of such cruelty to your readers!

    *shakes head in disbelief* its...just were in such a HUGE MONSTROUS natural disastor type thing! and it happened right after your parents arrived! and your SAFE! YAY SAFE! *huggles the anna* *doesn't stop*