Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Been A Bad Day

So, yeah...there was a pretty huge earthquake today in Japan. The biggest in Japanese history, bigger than Loma Prieta and the 6th biggest in the world EVER.

Even though I grew up in CA, earthquakes are always scary. Even little ones. We had a little tremble earlier this week so today makes a little more sense. Sort of? I'm glad I was around my coworkers so we could crack jokes even though deep down, we were all pretty scared and spooked.

Cell service is down nationwide but email and SMS work on and off. Oddly, Twitter and Facebook have been very reliable. As much shit as Facebook gets, Im glad there was an easy way to tell my friends and family I was ok. Key takeaway: Technology is your friend!

Our apartment is really safe. We are only 1 of 3 buildings in Japan that uses Takanaka Super Flex Wall Technology (patent pending) which promises us working wifi during earthquakes up to 6.3 magnitude. I can now vouch that it works after an 8.8. Some things are NOT working, such as our elevators. We had to hoof it up 31 long flights to get home. Home sweet home indeed!

Now I'm plopped in front of the tv watching the crazy video on Miyagi. My coworker will be spending the night here as the trains have stopped and thousands are stranded in Tokyo with nowhere to go. My teacher friend is sleeping in her school but many department stores and parks are serving as shelters. Also, I learned that there is a sticker at the top of all Suntory vending machines that you can pull off and all the drinks are free. Kiiiiinda tempted to try it out, bit I don't want to walk back up these stairs.
We've been getting lots of aftershocks which is to be expected through tomorrow. I suspect it will be a quiet weekend around town. I've packed an emergency backpack just in case, but I hope it never gets used.

It's been a scary day. We were really lucky to be here in Tokyo and close to home. Others weren't as lucky. Maybe for the first time ever, I have nothing clever to say and have zero appetite.


  1. Found your blog via Grace Face. We're all super glad you're safe. Technology is amazing. Looking forward to learning about more food and how you're doing.

  2. Thank goodness you're okay! Even though I've never actually met you, and only started following your blog recently, I was worried. The few bits of information that people have been telling me at school all day are pretty terrifying.

  3. @ DJ - yeah! you found the blog! i'm glad i'm safe too. gosh, technology plays such a big role in times like these. i've been glued to twitter reading ppl's translations of the news and earthquake alerts. it's incredible.

    @ Mara - thanks for the concern! there is a lot of scary stuff going on right now. the nuclear power plant meltdown is a big concern now, but it looks like it's under control (even though it kind of exploded...) the earthquake was scary and looked really violent, but japan is built for that kind of stuff. if this happened in any other country, surely more lives would have been lost. the tsunami was the big problem and that's where all the damage/tragedy is happening. keep japan in your thoughts!