Japan Earthquake 11th March 2011

March 12, 2011 · 34 comments

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

The worst hit city was Sendai, around 100KM / 60 miles from where I am, being up a mountain the tsunami’s which I’m sure will cause the most problems in the end didn’t have an effect here at British Hills. Sendai was the closest to the 8.9 offshore earthquake I did have thoughts of visiting the weekend before but decided against and went to Tokyo as it’s warmer (wish I went to see Sendai before the destruction happened now though). Even a day later and we are getting aftershocks rated at 6.8.

One thing I remember before it happened, is everyone with a mobile phone working had them blare out a sound. As it turns out the Japanese mobile phone companies send out a warning signal which alerts everyone what is about to happen. It’s a shame I (and many others) only found this out after the earthquake.

Anyway, here are my photos from the aftermath, as I think these speak more than my words ever can.

Japan earthquake march 2011

Glass blender smashed on floor

British Hills in Earthquake

Books fall over

British Hills Japan Ye Shoppe after earthquake

Shop office

British Hills

More shop destruction

Barrel in middle of snow after earthquake

No idea how that barrel got there but it did in the earthquake

British Hills damage after earthquake

Structural damage to wooden building

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Alouise March 12, 2011 at 6:02 AM

I’m glad to hear that your okay. I can’t believe you’re still getting aftershocks that high. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I hope people will do what they can to help everyone affected by this disaster.
Alouise´s latest blogpost – Musings from a NYC NonExpert


AdventureRob March 15, 2011 at 5:22 PM

To be honest all transport to that area has seized, and people there are using petrol to get out. Although there is people wanting to help it is very hard to do so, and is probably just best left to the authorities and search and rescue teams to do that work.

The height doesn’t make a difference. Aftershocks are felt for 1000s of KM away and being high up a mountain doesn’t stop them either!


Nicola Erasmus March 12, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Hi there Rob. My husband and I met at British Hills 10 years ago and have such fond memories of our time there. With Fukushima so in the news today, our thoughts have constantly been on everyone we knew there and so was delighted to come across your blog and find that British Hills and everyone there seems okay in this terrible earthquake. Please do give Paul and Nicola’s love and best wishes to any long, long time staff. Thank you for posting so that people around the world can touch bases during this awful time.


AdventureRob March 15, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I’m glad I could put former BH staff’s hearts to rest. Unfortunately (mostly due to roads being damaged) BH has closed down for this month and as many staff as possible have been moved offsite, we will be open for business as usual in April though.


Monika Watts March 14, 2011 at 4:52 AM

It is good to know you were all OK.

We were concerned about the pictures painted by my friend Jessica Brown all those many years ago when British Hills was being constructed.
I am the mother of Rebecca Simmons.

Kind regards
Monika Watts


AdventureRob March 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM

All the paintings were fine! I talk about Jessica Browns paintings often to the guests as I give tours of the manor house as part of my job.


Rebecca March 14, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Such an awful tragedy. I visited Japan in October for only two weeks but feel a connection to the country. I was constantly amazed by the country and its people every day that I was there. Thoughts are with everyone affected.
Rebecca´s latest blogpost – Photo of the Week- Santa Monica Beach- Los Angeles


AdventureRob March 15, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Yes, I think people/nations show their true colours in the face of tragedy and danger. The Japanese are so admirable in how they are handling it, I can’t think of any country which would handle such a situation better.


Jilianne @ Cotswold Cottages March 15, 2011 at 3:18 PM

My prayers for all those who are affected by this unexpected calamity… Thank God you survived it, Rob. Have a safe trip back home.


AdventureRob March 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Although close I was in a stable and surprisingly flexible building for the big quake. I am not currently planning on leaving Japan due to this.

Thanks for message :-)


Bonus Pariuri March 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Blessings to the people of Japan. I am more in awe of these people and their culture today than ever before. They value education, families taking care of families, helping neighbors and demonstrated extreem ORDER in the face of this tremendous catastrophy


AdventureRob March 15, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Yes, Japan has given the world a lot and happily accepts foreign ideas too. If the world wants more they can take some of their values in this situation, as the finest example of how people should behave.


Vi March 16, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Did you feel todays aftershock?
I think most buildings are safe during earthquakes in Japan. Tsunami caused most of problems in last one.
Vi´s latest blogpost – Is it safe to travel to Christchurch


AdventureRob March 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

I feel aftershocks every day, they aren’t really a big deal just part of life here.


Randy March 18, 2011 at 2:48 AM

Glad to hear you are okay! Just saw you posted a camper van photo essay a few weeks back, can’t wait to check it out. -Randy
Randy´s latest blogpost – The Day I Became An Ugly American


Merav | AllWays Car Rental NZ March 19, 2011 at 4:21 AM

For us living in Christchurch NZ the terrible tragedy in Japan went straight to our hearts. It is amazing to see how the human spirit grows in such a hard time and give a helping hand to those in need. I could only wish we would do it more often. The world would be a better place if we did.
Merav | AllWays Car Rental NZ´s latest blogpost – Reflections From Christchurch After a 63 Earthquake


AdventureRob March 29, 2011 at 3:04 AM

Yes they are an amazing nation when it comes to dealing with big emergency issues, now I’ve been around a bit I can see the effort they put into fixing things somewhat better and will over this shortly in my blog


Nishta March 19, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Wow, i can’t beliver the aftershocks were so high, and am glad to haer your ok!!! I only woke up on that day and watched the news to haer what disaster had happened, all my friends with iphones who had downloaded the earthquake alert thing heared it go off and they were all sleeping!


AdventureRob March 29, 2011 at 3:05 AM

Yeah, I was surprised to learn afterwards that most phones in Japan have an earthquake warning built in. I don’t think any app requiring the internet is going to be useful in comparison, as the Japanese ones are all emergency receivers which go off when the mobile phone companies send out a warning signal


G.ma Fitzs March 19, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Hi Robert so glad to hear all is well with you after such a awful disaster.
only just heard from your folks about you being in the wake of this terrible earthquake. Thank God you are safe.


AdventureRob April 20, 2011 at 4:15 AM

I prefer to thank the structural engineers I’m safe.
AdventureRob´s latest blogpost – Going Local in Cyprus


Miranda Jones April 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I work for the English company that originally designed and constructed the British Hills village and we have been scouring the internet for news on how the people and the village fared after the devastating earthquake. Your comments have put our minds at rest somewhat. I was wondering if you would be able to give me more information/photos on the damage that was sustained to the buildings – the workmen who flew out to erect them originally have been wondering how they coped the quake. The dignity and grace that the people of Japan have shown comes as no surprise as every Japanese person we have ever had dealings with has been nothing but respectful, dignified and courteous, they truly are a nation to be admired. We are still trying to get hold of some of our old contacts from Japan to make sure that they are alright but understandably many of them are unreachable at present – our thoughts go out to everyone.


AdventureRob April 19, 2011 at 4:16 AM

It done alright but a fair amount of cracks about. I think similar damage was done in September 2010 but that earthquake wasn’t widely reported on. Nothing fell down and engineer inspections have said it should all be alright for now.


Miranda Jones April 20, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Thanks Rob, at least I can tell our workshop boys that the structure did it’s job. Hope things are settling down there, as much as they can do anyway. It’s still such an awful thing to happen anywhere and we wish you all the best.


karina April 19, 2011 at 8:59 AM

It done alright but a fair amount of cracks about.
Why such bad grammar?


AdventureRob April 20, 2011 at 4:09 AM

The buildings stood up well, but there were non-structural damage cracks. Happy now?


karina April 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM

YOU are the worst


AdventureRob April 20, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Yeah, I guess supporting a country and helping out in evacuation centres after a disaster is a pretty crap thing to do, just like bad grammar on the internet. Keep on typing internet warrior, see how much of a difference you’re making doing that.


Nishta April 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM

ya i was actually quiet suprised that nothing has fallen down.


AdventureRob April 20, 2011 at 4:12 AM

The further away from the earthquake you are the weaker it gets. If it was right below where I was located then things would have collapsed, but because it was out at sea, the buildings fortunately got a chance to sway and absorb the shocks.


Nishta April 20, 2011 at 11:31 AM

i never knew that, thanks


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