Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan Quake Day Five

March 15

At 2:00 AM the wife poked me awake and pointed to the hall. Electric lights were on. Hallelujia! I eased out of bed, came downstairs and turned on the TV, called my Father, and connected the computer. After talking with Dad for a while, I watched some news. Still disturbing. Scary scary stuff.
After posting on Facebook that I was still breathing, and answering some e-mails I went back to bed, relieved that the blackout was over.

I woke up again at 6:00 to the kids, who were delighted that the power was on. We cooked on the electric stove, watched news, and then baked bread in the bread machine. We also finally got in touch with some other friends whose contact information was stored in our computers or telephone. A day of relief.

After lunch, I headed to my school by bicycle. I saw maybe five cars. Groups of people were filling water jugs from the river, and from the rice paddy irrigation ditches. I hope to God that was just to flush their toilets with. In town, the line at the supermarket was very short, so I lined up. We were able to buy one item from each of 8 or so areas marked out in front of the store. So I got some kiwi fruit, spinach, one can of tuna, a large can of baby formula, and 5 Kg of rice. In high spirits from my shopping success, I headed out to see the rest of the city.

All over the city limestone garden walls had collapsed, while their neigboring concrete block walls stood firm. Blue tarps covered hundreds of roofs where the roof tiles had slid off. Near the beach, where the tsunami had reached there was still no power. Long lines of cars were waiting to go south, nobody was headed north. Gas stations were comandeered for official use- ambulances, police, military relief, and supply truck use. That I could agree with wholeheartedly. Here and there were cars by the side of the road with "Out of Gas" signs propped up in the windows. Along main street, only one shop- the butcher's- was open.

At the school, I was able to do some vacuuming, and finished the cleanup. With a few minutes on hand, I headed to the local convenience store, more out of curiosity than necessity. After a 30 minute wait, it was my turn to go in. I filled a basket with mostly chocolate and snacks. That was about all that was left. Thank God that we have some food at home still. After deciding that no students were going to come, I posted a note on the door and headed for City hall for the daily diaper ration. The lines for water were shorter, since the military had three water tankers dispensing water. I got home, had a dinner that couldn't be beat, and fell asleep on the sofa for a few hours before heading up to bed.


  1. Hey, Eric-
    Wow, I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't thought that an absence of your posting meant you were so quake-impacted. I have no concept of geography in Japan.
    I'm glad you guys are alright, though it sounds like you were, by nature of lifestyle, more prepared than others.
    I know you're still in the midst of it all, but if it's possible to have some perspective at this point what would you change about your current living arrangements in light of the impact this earthquake has had?
    We'll be thinking of you on this side of the world, and wishing you peace, food, and continued electricity...

  2. Yes, a post on hindsight will be coming soon. Thanks for the good wishes!

  3. I'm glad to know that you are OKay. I'm OKay too. Luckily I got water supply last night. How about you?

  4. @Akiko-
    We live on the mountain so we have a well for our water. Of course, we had no water during the blackout, but once the electricity came back on, we had running water again. Good to hear that you have water at your place too. How is the fuel situation around your area now? All the gas stations, and the home center kerosene stations are closed in Takahagi...