2011 tohoku quake

whew march crawled by… survived. the family and kids are adjusting as well as they can, concentrating on day to day life activities has our focus away from the grim news of casualties and radiation woes from the damaged reactors in Fukushima and Onagawa.

i was watching ayu on my day off, friday while my wife headed to Motomachi Chukagai for lunch with her buddy from tokyo. all i remember is grabbing my camera, hitting the video record mode and making images. normally the quakes shake for a little while and then stop… this particular quake lasted for a long time.

flipped on the boob tube to gather what and where the epicenter was. whoa. amazing images of disaster flowed like a very bad nightmare.

from wikipedia, “The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (東日本大震災 Higashi Nihon Daishinsai[6]?, literally “Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster”[fn 1]) was caused by a 9.0-magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on Friday, 11 March 2011.[2][3][7] The epicenter was approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, with the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 32 km (19.9 mi).[2][8] On 1 April 2011, the Japanese government named the disaster resulting from the earthquake and tsunami the “Great Eastern Japan Earthquake” (東日本大震災 Higashi Nihon Daishinsai?).[9]
The earthquake triggered extremely destructive tsunami waves of up to 37.9 meters (124 ft)[10] that struck Japan minutes after the quake, in some cases traveling up to 10 km (6 mi) inland,[11] with smaller waves reaching many other countries after several hours. Tsunami warnings were issued and evacuations ordered along Japan’s Pacific coast and at least 20 other countries, including the entire Pacific coast of the Americas.[12][13][14] ”

first concern was to message wife to move to high ground not knowing how bad a tsunami might hit low lying areas of yokohama. at this point, all the trains stopped. many people were stranded in kanagawa, tokyo and throughout the metropolis.

above live television view of houses and debris being pushed in by monstrous tsunami

since all the trains were down, i jumped on my trusty mamachari to ride into the city to photograph damages and how people were being affected. traffic was backed up for miles. every major road was jammed going into yokohama and into metropolitan tokyo. i saw hundreds of people walking. this was the day the city stopped functioning. one of my friends working in tokyo walked over 5 hours to get home in tamagawa.

the next day at 530am i rolled back into the city to document and photograph more. people were strewn about the yokohama JR station like drunken barflies, sleeping on cardboard boxes and on the ground. many refugees from the train stoppage lay sleeping in the walkways of the station. graciously, the Japan Railway and station folks allowed all these stranded to camp overnight and stay in a heated building.

more to come soon…


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