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.
Embassy of Canada, Tokyo, Japan."