Sunday, March 20, 2011

How I Expirienced the Big Earthquake in Japan March 11 th

As everybody knows there has been big catastrophe in Japan... First level 9 earthquake in Sendai...Big Tsunami...and After that very many aftershocks, and Explosion in Nuclear Power plant... It's been really scary time and most of the foreigners i know in Japan are now back at their countries (for a while, or forever)

Anyway in a Friday March 11th... I were just having normal morning.. Since i'm on a vacation i woke up late, started to clean and organize my stuff.. coz earlier i decided i would just spent the friday at home doing my things.. Well when i almost finished cleaning,, just organized the last papers i found the small magazine,, "What to do in an earthquake" i just put it with other papers to the shelve.. when the earthquake started.... I was so surprised and scared.. at first it was not that big.. but it just became stronger and stronger.. and i could hear all the kitchen stuff falling down on the floor... and i paniced really much! but the phone disconnected and after that i couldnt contact anybody in a whole day anymore... i was sure that's the big earthquake and im gonna die =_=; i tried to call my mom... but ofcourse couldnt connect and i already saw all the destroyed buildings in my mind... it was pretty long quake... over minute?? When the shaking finally became more weak.. i were still in a panic and remember i just had the earthquake book in my hands... i started to look for it throwing all the papers down with shakey hands.. when i finally got it i sit down on the soffa and tried to calm down and read it (it was still shaking that much that the wire cables outside were waving much) All the people from the near buildings had gathered on the street.. just under my balcony.. i were thinking i should go outside or is it more safety inside... I was reading that i should open the doors... and stay under table or have a pillow in my head.. so thats what i did..... i were thinking a while,, go to outside or stay inside... and i remember we have the park behind our bld,, so i put the pillow in the plastic bag and escaped to the park.....

The Park was full of people,, it's the evacuating area near our house.. I tried to call my friends, family all the time but just couldnt connect.. then it started to shake again... i went next to some old ladies and spoke with them coz i was scared...they were scared too.. then i saw in the park there were another western girl alone! I went to her,, and we started to talk... tried to ask people watch going on.. tried to see japanese news together with phone to know what should we do next... The Girl was from France, when the earthquake was biggest, she ran firestairs from 9 th floor down! So dangerous and scary...

Whole day we couldnt contact our friends, we just stick together,,stay near the park..  heard that there is big possibility for big aftershocks... at that time the power plant was still ok,, we heard about tsunami.. and there were tsunami warning in all around japan... It was really unreal feeling and scary.. We tried to go mc donald, but they closed.. Finally some japanese guy came to talk with us in english about the situation... And he said there might be big earthquake soon in tokyo with very big possibility... we scared and went to my house i packed some stuff... and then we went to her house and she packed some stuff for an emergency too... and then we went to super market.. there was so big line.. we heard water and some other stuff are sold out.. so we went to crap some too we could!

..we couldnt contact coz phone didnt work.. but while visiting my house we could use skype for a while and promised to meet in the park..after we finally met, we were still outside for a while.. buy more things for an emergency, saw huge lines of ppl wanting to go back to their homes but trains didnt run.. in the end we went back to our houses... There were many small aftershocks and the situation was scary... every time the ground was shaking i thought it might be the big one..when we reached home we just watched news.. and slept with news on.... i couldnt sleep well though coz i woke up by every aftershock...  in the news there were this earthquake alarm.. telling all the aftershocks.. it were alarming like in every ten minutes... and i could feel the shake (it was really small in tokyo though) but it was scary,,

Next day... we were watching news like whole day... all the food were sold out, even matsuya had big line of ppl waiting to eat there... mc donald was closed.. but i heard most of the ppl were styaing home.. We already knew the news about explosion in the power plant... luckily it was weekend so we could stay together home... but seeing these horrible pictures of destruction by tsunami... crying ppl... alarm of was very stressfull... i could feel earthquake all the time.. it was not even real aftershock i could still feel the ground shaking in my mind.. so i had to watch my plastic sakura branch.. if it was shaking, it was the real aftershock.. if it was not shaking and i could still feel it.. it was only in my mind... 

Sunday was similar.. just watch news........ eat and wait.......... the news were getting worse all the time.. my mom were freaking out crying all the time from friday...and ask me to come back to finland... i started to get e-mails even from my children cousines telling me to come back finland right away coz they dunt wanna lose me =_=didnt know which we can believe japanese news.. western news,, our families or what.. we were so confused... so sunday night i couldnt sleep well again.. i were just asking my friends what they gonna do... it was 70% possibility to have over Level 6 aftershock in Tokyo or near during next 3days. So i was reading facebook.. most of the ppl i know left japan, or left tokyo... When even my japanese friends were panicing i couldnt take it anymore..go osaka next morning!!

And so we did... we took just clothes for 3days,, our pasport and money and left everything else in tokyo.
Mt Fuji from shinkansens window
On the way to Shinkansen.. there were huge lines on the trains but all the ppl seemed to be so calm.. ppl went to work normally... just continue life normally.. so we were not sure if we doing the right choice to leave for a while.. (our plan was to come back tokyo on thursday...) But on the way to Osaka... There was a new explosion in the Power plant... And news were just bad... In the Osaka we were both of us really tired mentally and physically.. i've tried to pretend for my parents taht im fine and not scared.. but really i was super scared the whole time.. going to osaka made me feel bit relaxed... at least not that many aftershocks..(even i kept having them in my mind =_= We found cheap hotel, stayed there watch news,, tried to enjoy our sudden trip even a little bit... Next Morning, Tuesday we heard tehre were third explosion on the power plant.. we decided to leave jp for a while for our families coz everybody really freaked out... but i had problem...I didnt have yet my visa... only application stamp in my passport... So I've tried to call immigration office one day but the line was so growded couldnt connect... so i heard i will lose my visa if i leave japan.......... It was so hard to make the decisions.. coz i dunt wanna lose my visa.. i were crying much.. we already booked flights for Hong Kong... So if i would leave it mean i cant return easily (even i paid all my school fee for the language school starting in april..) but i just didnt wanna lose my visa. coz I wanna be in Japan.. Stay in Japan.
Then tuesday i cried till six.. coz i thought everything is gonna end..we were going to have dinner in one shopping center.. but I got the Idea to return to Tokyo, go to immigration office before our flight(which was from osaka to hong kong) and get the re-entry premission and come back to tokyo as soon as situation is getting better! i felt so happy about that and we ran back to hotel back our stuff and were about to leave back to tokyo with shinkansne... till i finally got back my sense... Nothing was sure, everything is unsure, unclear so after running back to hotel, check out, go to the station where the shinkansen leave back to tokyo... i decided to stay in osaka... and lose my visa......But it was really good decision, coz that night around 10:30 there were big aftershock in Shizuoka, even Tokyo was shaking strongly,, so in the end we couldnt have make it coz shinkansen and all buses were stopping,,, whole Hosnhu shaked by that earthquake, we could feel it level 2 even in Osaka!
However,, from wednesday morning i tried to call the immigration office hours again.. Finally somebody answered me and told that i could get re-entry premission in Osaka's immigration office!So we ran to there... line up.. But the ppl in the office said its impossible coz i still have only tourist visa... i tried to explain that i dunt wanna lose my application now... coz i would get the result of getting student visa in 3 weeks!! They just tried to explain no way, and were just talking like the situation were normal..(even there was so bigcatastrophe going on in japan). refusing to leave and try to explain ppl in tokyos office said its possible! Well i couldnt take it anymore so i started to cry in front of them... and then they said ok they will call tokyo... we wait over hour,, coz even they couldnt contact tokyo coz the line was crowded.. Then Finally!! They said ppl in tokyo gave my my visa result already!! So i got my Visa, i got my re-entry premission, and it makes me super happy!
There are some pictures of lovely Osaka.

So many cute stores in Osaka

Then we came to Hong Kong... What a Big city.. Will tell about this place better next time!

Anyway, It's so horrible what happened in sendai.. in fukushima.. I really believe and hope that everything is gonna be alright again and Japan is gonna rise again. I'll pray for all the victims of tsunami and never gonna forget this... The situation is still rsiky.. So really hope it wont get any worse.


  1. Thanks for your take on the event. I hope you feel better now that you are back home. When will you return to Japan?

  2. Kuulostaa kyllä aikamoiselta kokemukselta. Onneksi pääsitte turvaan! Ja vaikka se onkin seurausta noin kamalasta onnettomuudesta niin on silti kiva nähdä sua välillä taas kun tuut käymään suomeen :

  3. Voi siua reppanaa. :( Onneksi mittee paha ei sentään siul sattunut. Ja ihana saada siut Suomeen takasin.
    Ja älä hätäile, kyllä kaik järjestyy viel. Asioilla on tapana järjestyä. :)
    "After every rain comes the sun. After every night comes morning... ja jottaa." ;)

  4. This is...
    there are no words to dicribe this.

    I had holiday during this time and I watched the news all the time. It was hard for me... but I was so far away. It must be incredible much harder for everyone who was there.
    I remember how shocked I was. I still am, when I see the pictures in TV.
    It must been so hard for your family... and for you.


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