As I wake up this morning in Japan it’s like yesterday was a bad dream. The sun is shining through my balcony window, the sound of traffic outside is normal. It’s peaceful. But as soon as I switch on the TV and log on to the Internet I am reminded of the terrible destruction and devastation Japan has faced in the last day.
First, I should mention for my friends and family around the world that I am totally fine here in Hamamatsu. Of course, this event is scary and I’m a little shook up by it all. But this area has not been affected directly and all my friends in Japan seem to be unaffected. Of course, my heart goes out to all the people I don’t know who have been affected in some way by this tragedy.
I should also add that I am no expert on this matter. All the information I am posting here on Haikugirl’s Japan is gleaned from other news sources.
I have heard that there have been many aftershocks, up to magnitude 7, since the initial earthquake. As far as I can tell, the damage done by the tsunami (triggered by the earthquake) is far worse though.
This picture is taken from the Japan Meteorological Agency, posted at 3:20am (JST). The red line shows the coastal areas of Japan which are under a major Tsunami alert (meaning waves of 3 metres or more)
Many of my friends live in the coastal areas of Shizuoka but, as far as I know, everything is all right here at the moment. Where I am, in Hamamatsu, is significantly inland enough to be safe.
All we can do for now is keep watching the news and sending our love to those affected. There are thousands of news reports out there, of course, but personally I am sticking to the major sources like the BBC and NHK. The BBC is now saying that at least a thousand people are feared dead. I guess only time will tell. I’m particularly concerned about people in the Fukushima area, where there is a nuclear power plant. Reports are saying that radiation 1,000 times the normal level has been detected inside the plant. People have mentioned Chernobyl, but authorities have said we shouldn’t be thinking that way at this stage.
This scare has made everyone in my area think and talk about “the big one”. Since I’ve been in Japan, and especially since I moved to Hamamatsu, people have been talking about the “Great Tokai Earthquake” which people have been waiting for since 1976. So, was that it? No… apparently not. According to this CNN report we’re still in for a “big one” in the future.
Well, life goes on here in Hamamatsu and I’m afraid I have to prepare to go to work now. If you are concerned about friends and family you can’t locate click here, and if you wish to donate to the American Red Cross, please click here (I don’t have any British or Japanese donation links right now). If you prefer to be fashionable when you donate, you could alternatively choose to purchase a Lady Gaga Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband.
Have a safe day everyone – my thoughts are with Japan, my beloved country.