Saturday, December 08, 2012

Earthquakes and Snow

Yesterday evening I had the experience that has threatened many times since I have been here in Japan, I experienced a big earthquake. The epicentre was off the north east coast of Honshu, perhaps 250km from the mainland. It measured 7.3. Let me tell you, dear readers, it was a scary few minutes. A day later and I still feel like the earth is moving. Things fell from shelves, and this ol' building made some serious noise. It shudders and rocks a little when someone in one of the flats shuts their door, so perhaps not surprising, but this was clearly more.
Across the rooves this morning lay snow.
 I had the iron and the gas stove going naturally, and my wife wasn't home as yet. I had to rush around and turn them off, open the front door and then cower like a craven in the bathroom, supposedly the safest place to be when inside. I considered running outside. Once you're outside in a car park you're safe but with all the movement I didn't feel safe running down stairs. It felt like three minutes of shaking, probably it was less. When it stopped I didn't really know what to do. I felt quite lost, and alone.
Snow across the rails here in Ichinoseki
 In perspective, of course, this was nothing compared to the earthquake on the 11th of March last year. Now we wait for aftershocks. We had one and maybe two small tremours but nothing significant. We wait nervously to see if there will be more. Is there a bigger one coming in the next few days? 7.3 is big enough for anyone, but last years was 9. The power didn't even go out yesteday. 2011 and Ichionoseki had no power for two weeks I am told. It seems strange that we haven't have 24 hours of aftershocks to me.
Snow is pretty - sometimes!
It was only a day or three after March 11th 2011 that snow fell. We woke this morning to a cover of snow most places. The night was pretty cold. A serious earthquake and below 0 conditions would not make for a pleasant combination. Yet this morning I couldn't help but notice how pretty everything looked. The first serious snow of the winter? Well, I have nothing to compare it too. Please enjoy the pics.
We leave in two weeks for Batam, Singapore and Sri Lanka. If it must shake so again, perhaps the underground gods would consider doing it whilst we are away?

A footnote - seeing no sign of disruptions or damage today. Lest we forget that 2011's earthquake and following tsunami took around 18,000 lives.

1 comment:

Tania said...

Glad to hear everything was OK in the end...I would totally be freaking out in the bathtub as well if that helps!