Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Earthquake 14th March

This is what I wrote a few days after the Earthquake on the 14th March

I had intended to catch up my blog from the last month but I’ve been so distracted (as always) and now the earthquake happened. I know people are worried back home so I’ll describe what’s happened over the last few days because the best I can do is give it from my perspective.

I think it was about 3:00 on Friday and Brittany and I were in our room. Brittany had just got up to leave the room when I began feeling dizzy, which was strange, I thought, because I thought I’d drunk enough water. I noticed then that Brittany was hovering at the door and that the room was shaking as people in the hallway shouted it was an earthquake. I got up and stayed in the doorway. It was strange coz some people could feel everything swaying and others couldn’t. It went on for about a minuet (Brittany had to sit down she was getting so motion sick) and I couldn’t tell it had stopped until I saw the cupboard doors had stopped swinging. We went to the kitchen shortly after and the earthquake was all over the news. I don’t think anyone knew just how bad it was at first. In fact most people were excited they’d experienced their first earthquake (it was my second but I admit I was excited too). So I stuck a message on facebook saying that we’d just had one but all was good. Then I went back to the kitchen and…it wasn’t just us who had had an earthquake.

The news (which was based in Tokyo) at first was only of the news room and the cameras showing the lights in the studio swinging above the camera crew. I admit they looked really scared and the only footage available was of the camera crew in the news room and the security camera in their offices. I couldn’t tell if it was live or just repeats of the initial earthquake. It didn’t take long before more information began coming in and a tiny map of Japan on the corner of the screen outlined the tsunami warnings. Along with descriptions of the earthquake, where it was and how big it was came instructions for people to stay calm and to be careful of tsunamis, where the tsunamis would hit at what times and how big they would likely big. In about an hour and a half the Japanese news had all this information on every channel warning and advising the population to stay calm and what to do. They didn’t have any information on how bad it was but still it was pretty impressive at how organised they were, especially at keeping people calm. I certainly felt calm.

So calm infact that I felt like it wasn’t that bad, so that night I went to karaoke, and the following day to the cinema. Karaoke was awesome fun with about 15 of us singing until 3am; was tired with a soar throat that tasted like cigarettes because the karaoke air conditioners were full of left over cigarette smoke XP. Although I saw the news in the morning and it outlined the missing/dead people to be only at 300. Our conversation on the train to the cinema mainly consisted of how strange it was that this disaster had happened but the sun was shining and people in Osaka were living their lives like normal. The film, which was the second Macross Frontier film (which we’d tried to see on opening day the week before but it was sold out), was packed. And I can see why it was so busy, the film was soooo good! I wouldn’t mind going back again to see it again ^^. Conversation went back to the earthquake on the way home and my Japanese friend was worried though because she had a job internship just south of Tokyo and she was really worried that Monday might be her last day seeing us all. I honestly didn’t understand why she was so worried.

That evening and the next day, Sunday, we got more information and I was watching the news in the evening and again in the morning before going to see Takarazuka as they showed footage taken by Japanese people as the tsunami came in taking out fields, houses, cars. One was of these people on a roof as they watched the river bank break and the wave head into the town and crash against the building they were one and you could see it head towards a few cars driving on the road and then the camera panned away. All the images were…unbelievable. My mind couldn’t absorb how bad it was it was so bad. And it all gets forgotten when you’re away from the TV in the world were people are just acting like normal, although most of our conversation was once again on the earthquake and the seriousness of it all.

But once again being away from it all in the world where it’s not been hit makes you forget and I strongly enjoyed Takarazuka. We went and saw バラの国の王子 “The Prince of the Rose Country” aka Beauty and the Beast. It was so good touching back to the original fairy tale, while creating it’s own story which made the Beast rather then Belle the leading character.

Monday, today and I think how bad the situation is has finally sunk in. At uni today I found out that a few Italian kids are flying back tomorrow because their universities have pulled them out of the program. People are thinking about going home because their families are so worried, and there are rumours of something happening in Osaka in the next few days. But if anything happens there’s nothing we can do. We never even thought about the possibility of flying home due to the disaster, but I think even if there was the option I wouldn’t leave Japan. In my head that’s just not a possibility. It’s just something we have to push through. But just to be on the safe side Brittany and I went shopping and bought food provisions and put them in bags next to the door along with water, jumper, towel and spare shoes. Better safe then sorry.

This evening we were watching the news and they had an English translation of NHK news so we could understand what was going on. The news for the last day had been about how the nuclear power plant works and what’s been going on in the power plants but mainly more footage of the aftermath and interviews of survivors. It was really heartbreaking.

*Tuesday morning* So I’m looking at the BBC website again but no new updates. Brittany tells of some stupid American girl who put a youtube video saying she was glad the earthquake happened because it was god punishing the Japanese for being atheist. Apparently people have also been saying that it’s karma for Pearl Harbor and for the Nanking massacre. Which is just…so…STUPID! People who say such horrible things like that are just ignorant

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