Sunday, October 31, 2004

The recent Niigata earthquake

I've had a few emails and one phone call from my mother asking whether I was affected by the recent devastating earthquakes that have rocked northern Honshu, the main island of Japan.

In short, NO - I didn't even feel the quakes that day. They happened in a prefecture far from mine. It's the equivalent if the quakes had happened in the Bay Area of California and I was living in Los Angeles, distance-wise.

Click HERE to see a simple map of Japan. This map is divided into prefectures, which are kinda likes states in the United States. Niigata (the epicenter of the quakes) is #15 on this map, and Shimane (my prefecture) is #32. Hard to read distance on this map, but Tokyo, which is south-east of Niigata (and in prefecture #13 on this map), is about 6 hours away from Shimane, so you get an idea.

I can't help but think that there are many JETs like myself who now might be homeless and many are certainly facing an uncertain future because over 90 schools in Niigata are still closed as of today, one week after the quakes. Many people are living in shelters and even in their cars out of fear of aftershocks or because their homes are unsafe or destroyed, and it's getting colder up north and is supposed to rain this week, so my best hopes go out to them.

Thanks to everyone who sent messages of concern. I appreciate it. But I'm fine and looking forward to a hectic but enjoyable November. Hope all is well where you are.


1 comment:

Emily Watkins said...

Dude, I didn't get one single phone call or e-mail.
Not one.
So that means either that none of them bother about international news, or that they did, but knew I wasn't affected.