Japan's earthquake- my personal experience

to those who don’t know me: I’m one of the mods here and I live in japan. I’m a junior highschool teacher and live on the northern coast of Ibaraki prefecture which is one of the hardest hit areas by both the earthquake and the tsunami. I live far enough from the beach that the tsunami didn’t affect me personnally so I’ll just recount my experience during the quake:

Day of the quake (Friday)

I was in the teachers room grading some papers, it was the beginning of 6th period. At about 2:45 the earthquake started, it started as a slow rumbling so no one in the office was really concerned since we’re used to small earthquakes every so often, but small earthquakes never last more than a few seconds. And after 5-10 seconds of this slow rumble the intensity started ramping up… Every teacher got up surprised and wondering how much longer it would last, then the real shaking began, drawers started popping open and things started falling off desks, shortly after as it kept growing shelves started toppling and desks breaking and falling over. I remember looking outside outside and seeing the trees and powerlines swaying wildly and the glass madly shaking. It was insane, the vice principal tried to get on the p.a. system to call for everyone to evacuate but by then the power had already gone out. I ran to help notify classes to evacuate. I ran through the halls as ceiling tiles fell around me and reached a class where students were under their desks and half of them were crying… Minutes later we were out in the baseball field trying to get order established. It was nearly freezing temperature and no one had their coats. So we had to remain there for hours in the cold enduring aftershock after aftershock trying to keep the kids from panicking.

Hours later the kids were moved to the gym and were joined by waves of other people since the gym was a desgnated evacuation zone. The kids had to stay until their parents could come get them. Many came back though, as well as many elderly and others who didn’t feel safe in their homes. I, as well as many of the other teachers, stayed to help manage the situation.

Around 3am some teachers who had left early to check on their own kids came back so I was able to go home for a couple hours of rest. On my way home I remember thinking that the stars looked amazing clear since there were no lights anywhere nearby.

I got home to a mess. Everything from my dishes to my tv were all over and broken to pieces. I don’t make so much money in japan so I shouldve cared more but I just wanted to rest. I payed down and tried to sleep. I wasn’t particularly scared during the quake but being in my apartment, laying down, looking at my ceiling and feeling aftershocks every couple minutes was incredibly frightening. I almost decided to sleep under a table fearing that the ceiling would cave in. Time and time again I’d be jolted awake by a large aftershock and I would hope it wasn’t another big quake and prepare myself to get out if the need arose. I remember after one aftershock woke me that I was relieved it was light out so I could leave the house.

I left my apartment as it was and went back to school, seeing many families parked out in the streets and sleeping in their cars. I continued the rest of that day volunteering and helping the relief efforts, then returning home and sleeping in fear again as the aftershocks continued.

Today (Sunday) i was assigned a later shift so I spent the morning wandering around looking at damage. I saw split streets, callapsed houses and shops and broken bridges. I went down to the coast and saw wrecked buildings, beached boats and turned over cars from the tsunami, it was surreal, then I went back to help.

Now as I write this I’m about to sleep my 3rd night with no dinner, no shower and no heat. Water gas and electricity have not returned to my part of japan yet. While they insisted I take some water from the rations I was helping to distribute, I refused the food and extra blanket they had. I’ve just been eating chips and whatever else I have around and am wearing many layers as I sleep. It’s not uncommon though, no stores opened briefly to long lines to get rid of their stock and haven’t opened since… no tlling when they will open again either. The aftershocks are still continuing, I felt a few while writing this. And on top of that there’s a chance there will be another earthquake in the coming days.

I’d like to thank my fellow mods spike and ini for their concerned emails, I wasn’t able to reply until today because this is the first day my iPhone has gotten any service. Yes I’m alive, just hungry and tired, and not looking forward to cleaning up my own apartment and starting over.

Im glad you are safe. I hope the food situation is fixed soon. Be careful and stay safe.

Glad to hear that you are safe Kyon, hang in there. Take care and be safe.

Glad you’re ok mate. I have those videos waiting for you when you get stuff back in order :D

So glad you’re safe, kyon. I was really worried.

big HUG

Hey Kyon, Im glad to hear your ok.
It`s terrible to watch the news as u see destruction everywhere.
Our hearts are whit the Japanese in this dark time.
Hope you get some help soon.

glad to hear you’re safe. :whew:
it’ll be tough but stay strong bro. :hug:

man, all I can say to you…Just Hang on you can survive this, and be safe man

I’m glad you’re okay, I hope everything comes back to order. The aftershocks must be something terrible to feel, you just keep asking yourself, will there be another huge earthquake in the next days?

Japan is situated in a very unstable area (subduction line)

I don’t know you as well as others but i am happy to hear you are safe. Do please try and get some other food other then Chips. You need to look after yourself as-well as others.

Please stay safe.

Kyon I’m so proud to see such people as you living in this world… please stay safe… such a tough moments for japan

Whew. Glad to finally hear from you, Kyon. I was worried for you. I hope things improve drastically for you and all of Japan soon.

I am glad you are okay Kyon. I hope you don’t get hurt and be safe!

Happy to hear that you are safe. Please be safe, and I really hope things will quickly improve for you and the others around you.

Glad to hear you are safe Kyon! I hope Japan will recover from these tragic events & grow strong again! :)
My Girlfriend lives in Ibaraki too, she is also safe! Thank God! :)
I’ve been told that there were minor quakes in Ibaraki…but possibly a bigger aftershock quake in about 3 days time!
I pray to God & I hope she will stay safe from now on! as well as everyone that lives in Japan! please be safe!

Glad to hear she’s safe as well V-kei.

Glad to hear your safe Kyon, I hope you are able to resume your daily life as soon as possible Kyon and I’m sorry for the trouble you guys are having. :hug:

glad to hear you’re safe

Are you still okay :(

What happened, where are you??