That Was an Earthquake!
First off I wanna say thanks to everyone who messaged me and got in contact with me to see if I was alright. I was surprised to see the number of messages I received and I’m grateful for your concern. Thankfully Tokyo didn’t receive the brunt of the earthquake, though the tremors and shaking were quite strong. Unfortunately for places like Sendai and Miyagi Prefecture the damage and destruction is far more widespread.
Damaged walkway in Chiba.
At the Time
Preschool class had just finished and all of the kids had left. I was sitting down having a meeting for open school when it all started to rumble! Our school is in the basement level of our building so even though we have earthquakes we don’t feel them as much as if say we were on the 12th floor. However this time we definitely felt it from where we were and knew this was different.
Woman wears a helmet in Tokyo’s Financial District.
People evacuated outside Tokyo’s Financial District.
My coworker says I got really “bossy” (in a good way) at the time. I guess she means I was ready for action and to take charge of the situation. I guess I was running on adrenaline cause we still had kids in childcare and instinctively knew we had to get them out. God forbid the ceiling fell through. I remember saying this is not right and we should all get out.
I work near Gotanda and the streets were filled with people who had evacuated from their buildings. It was amazing to see large buildings swaying and creaking once outside. I didn’t want to panic so much cause I didn’t want the kids to worry so much. Luckily no one was hurt.
Tokyo survived for the most part. There were reports of fires and a large one in Odaiba. Tokyo and most of the region’s train system grilled to a halt leaving millions of people stranded at their jobs and tens of thousands displaced from their homes with few options to transport themselves to safety. The news recommended for people to stay at their places of businesses, but it seemed many people resorted to getting home on foot or by car. I even heard people were buying bicycles and changing out of their dress shoes and buying running shoes just to get home. The average commute into Tokyo is about 26km. A mini marathon to say the least!
People walking along the tracks after the transportation shutdown.
Stranded passengers at Shinjuku station. I was near Ikebukuro Station and saw people handing out blankets and soup for those stranded there.
Tokyo traffic chaos after the earthquake. I’ve never seen the streets this congested!
Traffic was terrible in the city centers. I personally made it as far as Takadanobaba before deciding to walk it the rest of the way home. It took about 4 hours. I can’t believe I decided to walk in the end, but I did it! I arrived home to find everything on the floor, but not as bad as I imagined. I was sure the microwave would be on the ground as it’s propped up on a not-so-sturdy bookshelf. The only casualty was a small box of drawers that Alison gave me. :(
A common site after the earthquake. Tokyo convenience stores are bare.
People evacuated on the tarmac at Narita International Airport.
Building on fire in Odaiba.
Closer view of the fire in Odaiba near the Telcom Center.
A chemical fire at the oil industrial complex in Ichihara in Chiba. There were warnings of acid rain occurring reports suggest.
Tsunami hitting northeastern Japan destroying homes and displacing cars and even ships.
I’m grateful that open school was canceled. Seemed inappropriate to have it go on; especially with dealing with the aftermath – tsunamis, chemical fires and a possible meltdown. Though these are concerns; Tokyo people need not worry so much as the northern regions are in far worse shape. Though caution is still warranted I think. They say that this earthquake could trigger a bigger one, plus tremors still continue to shake the ground for the last 2 days now. It maybe paranoia, but there is something to be said about being prepared. But no sense worrying about it Tokyo… let’s enjoy the sunny day! Tokyo is relatively back to normal and our prayers should be for those further north. I hope for the best and that things don’t get worse. I pray that the worst is over now.