How I lived the greatest earthquake in the history of Japan – Part 3

More and more people come to the park. I sit down in a rock next to some bushes with flowers, but just after sitting down I feel how the rock starts to vibrate. Trees and lamp posts around the park shake following the aftershocks that arrive every 10-20 minutes. We are still trying to use our cell phones or send e-mails, but we can’t. Somebody is able to get signal for a while and we get news that the tsunami has already arrived to the coast in the north, sweeping towns and cities. At the park we feel more secure that inside the building, but everybody looks more and more worried.

Around 5:30pm some of us decide to head back home. Trains are not running, they are all stopped, the rail companies employees are checking the railways to see if they are safe or need reparations. Many of my colleagues start to walk to head back home, but distances in Tokyo are huge, to some of them many hours of walk await. I head back home by bicycle but I soon have to stop and continue by foot; the streets are clogged with cars and sidewalks are flooded with pedestrians. Crowds slowly advance walking, calmly but with heads down, many are checking their cell phones trying to get signal. People are lining up to buy stuff in 24 hour shops and supermarkets.

Line of people waiting to use a public telephone in Tokyo
Line of people waiting to use a public telephone, cell phones are not working.

Supermarkets are running out of food very fast
Supermarkets are running out of food very fast.

After one hour and a half walking I arrive home. I live in a ground floor apartment, so the damages are not very important. Some books and plates have fallen to the floor, the tables have moved and my computer monitor has almost fallen to the ground but it is safe. I go online to check the latest news, I am terrified when I see the first images of the tsunami destruction.

Not mine, screenshots from http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

Not mine, screenshots from http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/

Me and my group of friends were going to celebrate Carlos 32nd birthday and my 30th birthday. But Tokyo is paralyzed, there are traffic jams everywhere, trains are still not running and it’s impossible to get a taxi. Of course it is not the best moment to celebrate anything, we cancel our birthday party and postpone it for another day.

More posts about the March 2011 Earthquake:

1 Comment
  • Jose Miranda

    March 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    felices cumpleaños 🙂
    Mejores días nos esperan…