My friend Bryan Stokley teaches English in Nagoya. He's not an earthquake expert or anything, but he's the only person I know in Japan. I'm taking him up on his offer to put me in touch with people from Tokyo, but for now I'm gonna try to go back to sleep.
Were you anywhere near that business?
Not the massive tsunamis, but definitely had quite a scare.
How far were you from the epicenter?
I'm in Nagoya, it's centrally located on the main island and about 450 miles or so from Sendai, the epicenter.
How significant were the effects in Nagoya?
Minimal, just a lot of shaking. good 25 to 30 seconds. I can put you in touch with people in Tokyo if you'd like. It was a lot more intense there.
Describe the mood over there. How frequent are earthquakes in the area?
They are pretty frequent but always short, never that intense or long. people here develop kind of a false sense of security because they think they are so well prepared. I think the majority of people are pretty shocked. It certainly doesn't help the morale of the country. They're already pretty distraught over all of the social and economic ills they're facing.
If I heard correctly, this is the biggest quake in Japan's recorded history. When is was the last major quake, and how does this compare?
The last one of this kind of magnitude was the kobe earthquake in 1995. It was like 6.8 or something. Lots of people died, so it was kind of a wake up call to Japan to reevaluate their construction practices so as to prevent anything of that magnitude from happening again. if you mention earthquakes here everyone immediately talks about the Kobe earthquake. This will rank up there as a significant earthquake globally and nationally. Right now everyone's in WTF Just Happened Mode. trains, planes buses etc are stopped. People are walking back home like after September 11th.
How widespread is ground transit disruption?
I think it's all fucked from Tokyo and moving north up to Sendai. It's hard to get a connection even here cause everyone's using their phones.
What time did the quake hit, and what time is it now?
It's 10:13 pm here. It hit around 2:40 in the afternoon. Nice spring day, sunny
Have you talked to anyone in Tokyo?
Yeah, a lot of people are using Facebook to post updates and communicate.
How has internet service in your area or Tokyo been affected?
Internet seems okay, but phones were pretty messed up earlier.
It's 5:26 am here, and I'm sitting at my desk in my underwear because I can't sleep. Also, I can't find my glasses. Anything else I should be asking?
I dunno. I wish could help. The Christchurch thing is interesting. A lot of japanese kids died and then they come back home and get hit again. It's definitely gonna affect the morale of the country which as I said is at an all-time low. I haven't talked to an optimistic Japanese person in like 3 years.
Sounds grim. Maybe this will make people rally?
its possible. They're good at that kind of thing. I think they can take solace in the fact that they were much more prepared this time and that helped minimize the loss of life.