Tragedy in Japan

Massive tsunamis hit the coast of Japan

Massive 4 meter high tsunamis slam on Japan's Iwanuma coast (March 11, 2011)

I heard about the most recent earthquake in Japan through a Facebook status post of one of my Japanese friends. Her family was in Tokyo and she was worried about them. She later confirmed that her relatives are alright. On the other hand, I became uneasy about the welfare of another friend who lives in Chiba. I tried sending her email (their equivalent to text messaging) but it was being rejected by the server which meant that the network was down. Fortunately, she went online after reading the mail I sent to her other email address and she said their house shook like a boat during the earthquake but confirmed she and her family are okay. They lived nearby the oil refinery that exploded though so she heard and saw it first hand.

Oil refinery explodes in Ichihara, Chiba

Major oil refinery explodes in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture (March 11, 2011)

I was relieved when I learned that the people I know and their loved ones was unhurt but my heart still feels heavy about the tragedy as a whole. The massive earthquake that shook more than a hundred miles off-shore created massive tsunamis that brought the brunt of the earthquake to Japan. So many people died and the confirmed death toll is still rising at the time of writing. Even more who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood are suffering right now. I know I am quite emotionally strong but I can’t imagine what state I’ll be in if the same thing happened to me.

I have experienced mild earthquakes when I was a child. I am from the Philippines and my family hails from the Bicol region, a province with many active volcanoes the most active of which is the majestic Mayon Volcano. Shaking and tremors were the most that I experienced and I’ve seen Mayon Volcano spew lava and ash too. Still my experiences are nothing compared to what just happened in Japan.

Yesterday I was reminded about Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 – an anime series that aired last 2009. It was a realistic what-if depiction of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hitting the heart of Tokyo created with a premise that a 7.0 earthquake could hit Tokyo in the next 30 years. Who would have thought that a stronger earthquake would actually happen less than two years after the anime aired? It gives me goosebumps whenever I think of it.

The recent earthquake was a magnitude 8.9 (upgraded recently to 9.0) but instead of happening under the metropolis, it happened beyond the coast but still with horrifying consequences. If you don’t know what it feels like to be in an earthquake  watching Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 will definitely open your eyes. It’s both terrifying and sad – definitely something I’d never want to experience myself.

On the other hand, below you’ll find Yoko Kanno’s song that is directed to the victims of the earthquake. It is subbed in English by Ruri Fansubs so you won’t have to worry about not understanding it if you don’t know Japanese.

For those who have some to spare please donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami on the Red Cross donation page. If you are in the United States you could also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 paid from your phone bill.

American Red Cross Japan

Alternatively you may also donate to the Kesenai Japan Relief Fund. I also placed a Kesenai donation link in this blog’s right sidebar to make it easy to find.

“Our thoughts go to Japan in these very difficult moments. And to help them, along with you, we invite you to donate to our fund raise on GlobalGiving that will go to International Medical Corps, Save the Children and other organizations on the ground to providing support.”
Mirko Muresan, President of Kesenai Non-Governmental Organization
Kesenai Japan Relief Fund

Please click on the image above to donate to the Kesenai Japan Relief Fund

There have been reports that there’s a 70% chance for another magnitude 7.0 earthquake to strike Japan again in the next couple of days. Let’s all hope and pray that it doesn’t happen and for improvements on the situation there.

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