Saturday, March 12, 2011

After the quake

What you see on TV looks tragic, but the majority of the area where the Tohoku earthquake was felt, but where the tsunami didn't reach, did not sustain serious damage. And I really don't understand why foreign media outlets are so focused on interviewing people in Tokyo. It's quiet in Tokyo, nothing happens in Tokyo. It seems to me that Tokyo is the only place in Japan that some foreign reporters are familiar with.

We're not in Tokyo, we are about 110 km north of Tokyo, closer to the epicenter in Sendai. And this is what the average damage looked like here:

This one was taken during my commute home. Took me three bloody hours to drive about 19 kilometers, because most traffic lights were not working. And of course, as soon as I took that photo, my battery died.

Inside the house, there was broken glass:



and things were thrown all over the place:



There were also cracked walls and ceilings, but nothing major.

The real problem is that the highways are still closed and that there is no gasoline:



and the store shelves are pretty bare:



and the trains are still not running:



And that's the situation in Utsunomiya.


This is my Show Me Japan entry for this week.

14 comments:

Kawaii Culture said...

Thanks for posting this! All of this is so surreal.

Lisa W said...

Erk!!! I didn't even consider that gasoline may not be an option.
Glad that you're safe and well under the circumstances, hope things start getting back to normal in your area soon.
Please take care!!

Gunn said...

Glad that you are safe!
I did not think of the problem with petrol either.
I am watching BBC news, and on my inner screen I have my own pictures of places I have been to in Japan....
My deepest condolences.

Haikugirl said...

Wow, it looks pretty bad there. I'm glad to hear you guys are ok though. Take care, and I hope things get back to normal (as much as they can) soon.

Paul said...

This coming so soon after the quake in Christchurch where Michelle posts her DP. Terrible news, so many missing and perhaps worse when they are no longer so. Things are really bad when you trains do not run, they are normally so reliable, but these are not ordinary times. The people here are in my thoughts and prayers.

David @ Ogijima said...

Thanks for sharing this with us.

"I really don't understand why foreign media outlets are so focused on interviewing people in Tokyo"

I think it's pretty easy to understand. First, most foreigners confuse Japan and Tokyo: if it's happening in Tokyo it's happening in Japan, and those sorts of reasoning shortcuts.
Also, journalists can't be there yet (although TV journalists won't bother anyway) and they're feeling they're losing the "race" against the Internet, so they think that talking to people on webcams is the thing to do. And I seriously doubt many people in Sendai are up for that right now. On the other hand, you have hundreds of Gaijin in Tokyo that got a little scared and are dying to talk to anybody that is willing to listen about how scary it was (some may even feel that they're "cool" because they were there).
This is the feeling I got from watching those little French executive and students talking on TV from their webcams. Sad... Especially when 200 kms away people are in real actual trouble.

Sil Lopez said...

HI, I'M FROM CHILE I NEED TO FIND MY UNCLE IF I GIVE YOU THE ADRESS CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO DO SOMETHING??..WE ARE SO WORRY AND SAD...PLEASE HELP US..they are in utsunomiya

Ali Crehan Feeney said...

I am holding you in my thoughts.

Nelsondailyphoto said...

I'm following NHK video stream since Friday night (in NZ). I'm glad yiu a re fine as posting those photos after words. You may still have big ones so take care. My family is in Tokyo/Yokohama area and they are all fine.

Musings said...

I'm so glad you're OK.

Michael said...

私たちは皆、あなたの考えている
Thank you for sharing such intimate details of this horrible event. May you all stay safe and sound.

Eric@parisdailyphoto.com said...

The City Daily Photo Community is all thinking of you and your loved ones. You're right about reporters being in Tokyo, but apparently they could not go to the North. Now we have started to report from there.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Glad you're okay. This quake is a big deal and holds grim fascination for us. The lack of gas and food on store shelves shows how lives hundreds of miles away from the epicenter can be affected. Hopefully people keep cool heads and help one another out. Large aftershocks and concerns about a nuclear meltdown are keeping all of us worried for the people of Japan.

Rodelina said...

I was there in Tochigi and I have gone to Utsonomiya. I experienced the March 11, 2011 earthquake. It was horrible. I just visited my daughter, with her family. Thou you were hit by the quake I admired the spirit of the Japanese, which is hopeful. I cannot forget my experienced then. I always pray to God to keep you all safe there in spite of the odds.

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