Friday, March 11, 2011
Japanese earthquakes and sending good thoughts
I certainly shuddered this afternoon when I looked at some news sites after seeing Facebook and Twitter fill up with messages about an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. During the two years that I lived in Japan, I must have been particularly lucky - I only ever felt one small earthquake, so small that the next day nearly all of my students said they hadn't even noticed. I sure did - I was living on the fifth floor and as soon as the shaking stopped, ran down to the street in case it started again, but nobody else was out there. It didn't stop me being terrified, and it really was tiny. I also visited the earthquake memorials in Kobe several times, and just seeing the remnants of that disaster got me scared.
So my thoughts go out to all those in Japan who've been affected by the earthquake today. From what I can gather so far - it seems early days as far as accurate reports are concerned - the city of Sendai was particularly hard hit. I did a lot of reading about Sendai as I wanted to get transferred up there to see something different during my second year in Japan, but ended up staying in Osaka because I'd made too many good friends. I also saw on the news that there are reports of flooding from the tsunami at Tokyo Disneyland - that picture up top was taken at Tokyo Disneyland in happier times (my birthday, in fact, a few years ago).
How lucky are we down here in isolated ol' Perth - we might have the occasional bushfire in the hills, and a very rare cyclone wandering down the coast, but when you look around at disasters of late, you can see we're pretty fortunate to live in a relatively safe spot. Anyway, keep safe, all my Japanese friends, we are thinking of you.