Friday, March 11, 2011

A Sad Day...Sendai Earthquake

Returning home from an interstate trip I came inside this evening to the news that Japan had suffered one of the worst Earthquakes on record - and in a tragedy that is still unfolding, the resultant tsunami threaten to widen the sorrow to many more places beyond Japanese shores.

For those that don't know my wife's family live in Sapporo (in Hokkaido) to the north, but her brother (and soon-to-be-sister-in-law) live in Tokyo. Even though we knew that the earthquake was centred around Sendai (on the northeast cost of the main island of Honshu... a major city with a population of around 1 million people (the same size as my home city of Adelaide). We quickly heard from T-chan's parents, and then from her brother... all were well. However - it was definitely a very bad earthquake, even at those distances (about 550 km from Sapporo, and only 350 km from Tokyo) the effects were very bad. T-chan's parents were badly shaken and left feeling physically sick - as was T-chan's brother.

The damage is still not well understood - and with the resulting 7 - 10m high tsunami that followed... but given that there was only some 15 or so minutes warning before it hit Japan, you can well imagine the carnage, and the likely loss of life that will result from this disaster. After the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, I am sure we all hoped that we wouldn't see anything like this again - and we can only hope that this one dissipates it's energy before it hits other countries.

From NHK

Our hopes go out to all the people who have been affected by this quake, and in particular to our close friends in Saitama that we have yet to hear from. Our hopes also go out to the people that live in the danger zones around the Pacific...UPDATE: the latest news is that the evidence from Taiwan and Russia is that the tsunami may not have the same strength as the one in 2004.

This is also a sad day for another reason, that I might post about later - but not today.


  1. I've heard from most of my friends now, so I'm a little relieved. We just have to see how this tsunami will unfold.

    Sendai was the first city I visited in Japan. I really hope there isn't much damage in the area. It's so scary knowing I was just in Japan less than a month ago. Things in life are so unpredictable.

    Sorry to hear of your sad day. My week hasn't been much better either. Gambatte ne.

  2. That's good to hear - I am sure as the hours pass the picture will clear up, and the real horror will be apparent. There's not much news coming out of Miyagi prefecture yet, and from what I've seen, we should prepare for very bad news.

    T-chan will be departing on Tuesday with L-kun... and at the moment we're mostly worried about disruptions to their flights through Narita (which has re-opened but which is highly chaotic now due to cancellations and delays).

  3. I'm glad to hear that T-chan's family is ok. I'm going through your posts to catch up fully