Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Quake Day Two

Saturday, March 12
Still no power. We had hopes that it might come on during the night, since we hadn't seen too much damage to power lines. Our "All Electric" house was maybe a bad idea in that respect. I never realized how much I rely on the electricity- our well, electric stove, of course fridge, but even our telephone (fiber optic) needs the juice.
So, I made eggs and toast for breakfast over the campstove. We debated bugging out for Mayuho's mother's house. Then we remembered we had less than 1/4 tank of gas in the car, and only the 10L can for the chainsaw in reserve. Also, the roads were sure to be crowded since the expressway was closed. So we made the decision to stay. Our neighbor has gravity fed springwater at his house, so we filled any empty containers with water for use at our house. Thank God we have a composting toilet! At about 10:00 (which felt like afternoon already with no electronic distractions) we headed for town to clean up the school and check on the situation, and hopefully buy some supplies. We checked out the big supermarkets. Only one was "open" in the sense that they were rationing items out from the front door. The line snaked through the parking lot. Easily 300 people waiting. We decided to keep going. Arriving at my school, we took some photos.

(Click to view larger images)

Like I said, it was a miracle nothing was broken! After cleaning a bit, hampered by three hyperactive children, the owner of the noodle shop next door dropped in to say that we could make free calls to contact friends and relatives from the telephones at city hall. While there, we saw the first water lineup. A few hundred people lined up to get a bag of water. Our neighbor was there also. He told us that we could use his house (it is sort of a summer house for he and his friends) since he had propane gas and spring water. We thanked him profusely. Mayuho was able to contact her brother, who sent e-mail to my parents and let them know we were all OK. Not being able to do anything else, we decided to head back home.

At home, it was lunchtime, so we borrowed the neighbor's gas and cooked Japanese style noodles for lunch. After washing up, we headed home, and cleaned/straightened up the living room and relaxed. As much as you can relax when there are aftershocks every 5 minutes or so. On our mountain, you can hear the quake before you feel it. A "rumble rumble rumble BOOM" Shake... And the cats are a good indicator as well. If Caramel (the Tom) climbs the drapes and disappears to the second floor, it will be a pretty good sized one.

One thing I did manage to do was to get our little radio working. We needed 6 "C" cell batteries. We had zero.... So I took some rechargable "AA" batteries from various children's toys, and wrapped them with cardboard to make them bigger. After cramming them in the radio, it worked! Necessity is the Mother of Invention. Now we could listen to the news without going to the car. Of course, listening to the news was scary enough....

After a dinner of macaroni salad by candlelight, we all went to bed early.

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