Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake Hits Japan

The road was shortly cordoned off.
Where I was during the earthquake.
Earthquake alarms sent messages to our phones.

Although we are geographically living in a place that is used to, or prone to earthquakes, its something to experience one in person. The large 8.9 earthquake hit north of us up in Sendai just before 3:00p.m. on 3/11/11.

Before the quake, we were just going about our day.  My husband was at work, my oldest was at a friend's house in one of the Towers, my middle son was stretching for track in the school gym, and my youngest was with a friend who lives close to his school, and I was visiting with my neighbor from Bremerton and her young son at a park near the water on base.  I was sitting on part of the play structure talking to my oldest (on the phone) when he said, "Do you feel that?" My immediate thought was "oh no".  The ground was shaking, the waves in the water were crazy, the lamp posts were swaying and the metal canopy above the play structure was shaking. I've heard rumors that it was a few minutes long.....but it seemed to go on forever. 

I think in any emergency situation the immediate need to contact loved ones is human nature.  I heard that the cell phones were down after the quake, so I felt so frantic not being able to reach everyone here.  Thank goodness Lee Ann was with me.  She was very helpful and calm.  I must say that I didn't relax until about 2 hours after the quake....when I finally heard from my oldest.  He and a friend headed to a park out in town that's on higher ground.  Good thinking since there was a tsunami warning for our area through 2200 last night. 

I'm so grateful that we had the car with us yesterday.  Its not a commuter car, but we had it on base because of all the evening activities that were supposed to take place.  If we didn't have the car, we would've been walking home like everyone else since the trains stopped running.  The traffic was backed up and it took us almost an hour to go less than 3 miles.  Once we were home, we didn't notice any damage to the house, or our neighborhood.  We are on top of a hill, so we felt safe from a tsunami.

We were able to post on Facebook, and email loved ones back home yesterday.  Thank you for all the love and support you sent our way.  I'm grateful we were safe, but am completely saddened by the devastation up to the north of us.  The media footage is horrific and heartbreaking.  We send out hope and strength to all the Japanese as they prepare to move forward after yesterday's tragedy.

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