Sunday, March 13, 2011

The earthquake off Sanriku Coast

The earthquake(M8.8) with a seismic intensity of 7 on the seven-point Japanese scale occurred off the Sanriku coast at 14:46 p.m.(Japan Time) on March 11th.

The quake(M7.4) with a seismic intensity of a lower 6 occurred off the coast of Ibaraki Prefecture at 15:15 p.m. on the same day and the quake(M6.7) with a seismic intensity of a upper 6 did at 03:59 a.m. on March 12th.

Sanriku Coast extending into Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi Prefecutures is a beautiful ria coast, but its terrains amplify the tsunami damage.
Areas including a 200-kilometer coastline were engulfed by 10-meter tsunamis. Only helicopters and boats can rescue the people left behind from flooded areas now, so it takes long.
It is very difficult to find the people that were swept up by the tsunami. 

The earthquake off Sanriku Coast hit vast area of the Pacific side.
When feeling the strongish earthquake(seismic intensity of a upper 5), I was working on the 10th floor of a 28-story building. The building swayed bigger and longer than ever before. It made thumping noises many times. Isaw a crack in the wall and small plaster cracks.

All of trains on subway lines, private railway and JR lines were suspended due to the quake yesterday. So we were not able to go home immediately.

I tried to get on a mobile to my family, but there had been no contact so far with them. I watched live One Seg broadcasts on cell-phone for information. I was speechless when I saw the situation in the disaster area.
I heard that a newspaper carried the headline "Japan Sinks." I'm not amused.

I waited for resumption of operation for a while, but I was reconciled to walk home. Although I came near to lose my way once or twice, I made it home around 11 p.m. after 3.5 hours.
Going home will take much longer if a quake occurs in my area. I had blisters on my feet.

However, the train line I've been riding was in operation then. Many people working in areas far from their homes were stuck at a station. They are provided with temporary sleeping places in Tokyo.
Convenience store privided people going home with water, toilet rooms and road information.
(Refer to Disaster Prevention Day)

Many aftershocks have followed also in Yokohama.
Emergency earthquake alert service is offered to us by cell-phone carriers, I received e-mails with warning tone.
We worry about the safety of one of nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture, and we can't see the full spectrum of the earthquake damage yet.

We do appreciate the kind offers of many countries.

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