March 11, 2011

March 11th earthquake

Filed under: General — John @ 9:00 pm

Thoughts out to everyone in Japan today affected by the quake. I was in Kanda station on the Yamanote line when it hit. The 20km & 5 hour walk back to my apartment in Chiba was surreal- – no real damage or anything and traffic was fine- but the sirens never stopped and the stream of office workers leaving the city was not something I had never seen before.

I am at home now, and watching the news while I post some pictures from the walk home. As long as the internet is working here there is nothing else to do but wait. Or at least relax.

I was in the train at Kanda station when it hit. This was the worst damage I saw all day, thankfully.

The big aftershock at 3:15 was where everyone stepped out into the streets. The SOUND of an earthquake is so weird… It’s like a dream. No matter how well you might understand plate tectonics, it makes no sense when it is happening.

This poor dog was stuck in this box on a scooter and was trembling.

Old buildings sometimes have netting on them to catch debris in the event of an earthquake- so these nets were up before today, but maybe not that crack.

During my 5 hour walk home to Chiba I stopped for a break at McDonalds. Commuters who usually go home by train had to walk- – I joined them a little later.

Convenience stores are quite empty now.

Take care everyone.


  1. Good to hear that you’re ok, sir. Footage i’m seeing on NHK World is beyond horrific.

    Comment by Cale — March 11, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  2. So sorry to see the devastation, watching on BBC from London. Keep safe, my thoughts are with all those that have lost everything!

    Comment by Tom RS — March 12, 2011 @ 2:00 am

  3. All the best to all of you
    nice to see that your adoptive city seems all right
    it’s unbelievable to see what we never see
    too sad

    Comment by Kiss&Fly — March 12, 2011 @ 3:58 am

  4. What a mess. Hope things are ok. Be safe.

    Comment by Howie — March 12, 2011 @ 4:48 am

  5. Glad you’re okay!The footage is really disturbing and the death toll seems to be climbing by the hour… I hope Japan will be able to recover from this catastrophe!

    Comment by Jens — March 12, 2011 @ 5:06 am

  6. good to hear you are ok, stay safe.

    Comment by kiwibirch — March 12, 2011 @ 5:33 am

  7. Glad you are you well. How long was the quake last? Did anything in your apartment break? Look forward to more of your post.

    Comment by jason slaughter — March 12, 2011 @ 8:19 am

  8. The missus’ niece is staying with us because her family’s apartment (“mansion”), also in Chiba, lacks water and gas. A friend tells me that her parents, in Akita, are without electricity. Tsunami and radioactivity leaks aside, we in Tokyo (or many of us) were lucky. (Amazingly, none of my books fell out of their shelves. After all the shaking, it was as if nothing had happened.)

    Comment by Peter — March 12, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  9. Glad to hear you are ok. I have relatives in Japan as well and told me this was the worst they experienced. Keep safe and well

    Comment by marco — March 12, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  10. I am a follower of your blog and I endured the Feb 22nd earthquake which destroyed Christchurch, New Zealand. Hope everything is well for you, those you care for and all of Japan! I know how this feels.

    Comment by Chris — March 17, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

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