Wow, that is all that could be said for the 11/03/11, a day I will not forget in a hurry. As you are aware, I’m on an adventure across Japan and this day I will never forget in a hurry.
The first strike
First of all let me begin when it all started 9th of March (Random fact- anniversary of Biggie Smalls death) I was on my computer in my house when the floor started to vibrate. My home in London has a train line behind it so I am used to the vibrations it caused by when trains pass. However there was no train track nearby and the vibrations were getting stronger and stronger. Suddenly it felt like the house was swaying. I asked myself if I was dizzy but no the house was actually swaying from side to side. All in all this lasted for 30 secs. I still wasn’t too sure it was an earthquake, I googled Sendai earthquake and saw the last major one happened in the 1990s. I then told to my concerns to my Australian based workmate Stephen Wardell who confirmed that it indeed was an earthquake and measuring at 7.3 on the Richter scale- It was a biggie! Although I wasn’t scared at the time, probably because I didn’t know what was happening, thinking about it afterwards had me a little concerned. I’m guessing the fact that is was such a big one and being so close to the New Zealand earthquake I started to think how lucky that there was no damage. Speaking to my American "Boogie Down" friend Milly Tejeda about it, I was told next time go under a table. Ahhh I will remember this for next time! I was so close to updating the blog on that day but I thought let me take a couple more pictures of places of interests and write the blog just before I leave Sendai either Friday or Saturday
Early hours of Thursday 10th of March, about 3am there was another earthquake. I was extremely tired too tired to hide under the table and it wasn’t as intense as the one the day before so I just lay there. After about 15 secs it settled down again. Speaking to another person I was told next time get out of the house because the table might not take the weight of the roof. Ahhh I will remember this for next time!
Friday the 11th - Fatal strike
Started off as any other day. Woke up, did some chores then went to town ( by the train station) for a bit of lunch. Although it was cold it was nice and sunny and didn’t require gloves for once. I came back home then had a bit of a nap. A hour later I woke up , went online and waited for the UK to wake up. Then there was a vibration. Uh huh, here we go again, I know what it is this time. I remained calm and collected it should pass in a bit I said to my self. Then the vibrations started to increase in intensity, and walls started to shake hmm this is not so good. Now the house is swaying -just like on Wednesday but more force! Ok I am really scared now and it doesn’t seem like relenting! What do I do?? Do I duck under the table and have the roof cave in on me, or do I go outside and have the house fall on top of me. I honestly thought this was game over, no coming back from this. So I did the only thing I should do- and prayed to the big guy in the sky. I’m not sure what I even said, I don’t remember words even coming out my mouth but I prayed, opened my eyes to see what could possibly be my last moments. The house was still shaking and swaying violently. Then slowly but surely the swaying resided. The ground was still vibrating but I was now able to move and I ran outside of the house. I was greeted with the sight of the roof of the building opposite my house on the pavement and Japanese all congregating on the street. Even tho we spoke the different languages we were all united in the one common denominator - fear.
What to do next? I was unaware of any city/countries earthquake procedure, I knew it was bigger than Wednesday but no way of telling. Emailed Stephen again from my phone to find out what was going on but wasn’t sure if it would go through or if I would receive his response. Earthquake had knocked out the power so internet was not available, phone lines were messed up. Went inside and took a look to see if there was any damage - fortunately only some bottles and items had fallen over.
Should I go outside, where the temperature was getting colder, should stay in the house which had withstood the earthquake without structural damage or should I go back into town and see if I could find out any information. I decided to go with the third option.
As I was about to leave I felt specks of water -rain great! Went inside to get my umbrella and found out I was mistaken, it was actually snow - even better! Walking to town gave me an opportunity to get a better look of the affects of the earthquake. The majority of buildings looked fine with no visible external damage. The older buildings were the ones that had problems, especially the shrines. I had visited all the shrines on the way to town the day before and so was able to clearly see how the effects of the earthquake on them. Roads were packed with cars driving to and from city centre, the busiest I have ever seen them. People were standing outside buildings houses and shops all with bewildered looks on their faces. Some of the traffic lights were working but electricity was pretty much K.O’d.