Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 11

On March 11 Japan experienced a 9.0 earthquake 130 kilometers (about 80 miles) off the coast of northeastern Japan. The earthquake triggered a tsunami warning and 40 minutes later an extremely destructive wave reaching 10 meters (about 31 ft.) high, destroyed coastal cities including Sendai, Miyagi. Although most destruction occurred in this general area the earthquake reached south including Yokosuka. In the days that proceeded the aftermath spread to include damage at several nuclear plants, most effected of those being the plant in Fukushima, roughly 285 kilometers from Yokosuka (135 miles).

(image via msnbc)

In the past week we have become students of nuclear science. We follow several websites and several people on Twitter. All of these sources are news & governmental organizations along with a few trusted expats.

If you follow any happenings on Twitter these folks keep us well informed with legit info (and a big thank you to their fingers who haven't stopped since 2:46PM on March 11):

On Wednesday night Brandon I made the decision to fly out to Okinawa and stay with one of our best friends Stephanie. You may remember her from our last trip to Tokyo? The basis of this decision was to remove ourselves and the baby away from the stress and uncertainty of the situation and return home Monday after a few days of R&R. Upon arrival in Okinawa we started receiving messages and phone calls informing us that the base where we work had begun voluntary evacuations. It is important to know that radiation levels in Yokosuka are still very normal but base officials wanted to be very sure they were offering their employees every possible way to feel safe. With the situation in Fukushima making minimal progress the only way to get this peace of mind was to authorize this voluntary evacuation.

Thankfully we had departed 12 hours before and although Haneda Airport was very crowded we sailed through with out any major delays.

So, what now? We will stay in Okinawa until further notice. Being the planner I am this is very hard. It's a real test in patience to not know what your next move will be. This is different than spontaneity. You can go on vacation and be spontaneous, because you know the day you leave. However, now we are living on edge in a different way. While we are safe and over 1,000 miles away from Fukushima we don't know when our time here will end. A week? Two weeks? God forbid, a month? Did I ever mention we left produce in our fridge?

There are many things on our mind but we are so thankful as we watch survival stories on the news. This is nothing compared to the events that are still unfolding in the areas most effected by the quake.

Thank you to all of our family and friends for your concern and constant communication. Thank you to technologies such as Twitter, Skype & Facebook for allowing us to keep that constant communication. Thank you to our employer's for providing us the resources to leave Yokosuka in the fast manner that we did.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jewell, I am glad you and your family are safe. I think of you each time the news comes on with more details about the terrible situation.

    I have visited Okinawa; it is a beautiful place. I think that it will be a joyful and rejuvenating experience. There are so many wonderful places to visit with your baby!

    Take Care and Much Love,