Earthquake

It was a bit like most other earthquakes at first. You stop whatever you’re doing under the sensation of the earth moving, realise what’s going on, and just wait. Earthquakes are not uncommon in Japan, much like many other areas of the world. They soon become natural, albeit a bit bothersome.

Japanese earthquake report

There are usually lots of these

I was sat at the desk on reception at British Hills, a British themed hotel in the mountains of Fukushima, Japan. As guests arrived on the courtesy bus around 14:40 Japan time, I sat them down and began my usual spiel about the attractions available and hope they would have a nice time, etc. The earth started moving as it sometimes does. Starting with a little shake, there was nothing to worry about seemingly.

However, the shaking continued for a further 15 seconds or so, getting stronger in intensity  Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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Everyone knows about the Great Tohoku Earthquake which hit Japan on March 11th 2011, I mentioned the tohoku earthquake previously as I was based in Fukushima so certainly felt the 9.0 shock (was previously a 8.9 but upgraded after analysis). 5 months later, a lot of damage repair and things are mostly back to normal for the majority of Japan.

Of course Sendai, the worst hit city still has issues, and I was keen to visit to see how it fared 5 months later. I was a bit surprised when I arrived via bus to see this site:

Sendai sun rise

A normal city

AER Plaza Sendai Japan

Shopping Mall in Sendai

That’s right. Like every other city in Japan. Sendai has been repaired and getting on as per normal. A few less visitors naturally, but everything functioning. Apart from the posters supporting the people and area’s effected, you wouldn’t be able to tell what happened here 5 months previous.

However out of the city (you’ll need a car, trains aren’t running to these areas) the effects are still very much there. Buildings destroyed, debris everywhere, and long queues for food at the limited places that stock now. The roads seem to mostly be cleaned up, so people can get around main areas (just not all residential areas).

There are many areas of piled up debris where things have been cleared. But it does beg the question: where does the mess go afterwards? It’s virtually unrecoverable, a mixture of concrete, plastics, ground, metals and whatever was in the sea at the time makes it difficult to recycle – this is pure waste that needs to be disposed of.

But progress seems to have stopped in terms of clear up. I didn’t see many people working to clear the area I passed through. Again though in these sorts of things, I think photos explain better than my words ever can:

Sendai factory after tsunami

Factory has significant damage but still standing

Sendai earthquake damage

A pile of debris

Destroyed Shell garage

Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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Shop destroyed by tsunami and earthquake in Japan

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I'm Alive written in snow

I didn't write this, but it is true

Well I felt this one.

After a few days of small shocks (which as it turned out were warnings for the 6th Biggest earthquake ever recorded and Japans biggest). The 8.9 earthquake on the richter scale hit where I live and work.

Before I go on I’d like to send my condolences to those effected and involved.

Newspapers on earthquake in Japan March 11th 2011

The Headlines Say it All

Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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