2011 Earthquake Effects here in Tsukuba, Japan

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I can’t believe all that’s happened in the last few days, but I have no choice but to believe it because it’s right in front of me; I’m in the thick of it. So how’s the earthquake directly effecting the city that I live in? Buildings have stayed in tact pretty well, especially when considering we were in a heavy shake zone. There are other after-effects that we’re feeling, though:

All stores are SHUT DOWN! Grocery stores, hardware stores, everything with the exception of convenience stores are closed.

Japan Earthquake 2011 Food shortages:

As you can probably tell from the video above, convenience store pickings have been VERY slim.

This has been the biggest, visible thorn in my side. I am having a hard time getting decent food. Last night I had gummy bears and ice-cream for dinner; I’m not kidding.

Japan Earthquake 2011 Water Shortages:

This has been a touch and go situation here in Ibaraki, some people have water, some don’t. It’s hard to tell when people’s water services will be shut off/restored. The city has issued some information, but more often than not, it’s in Japanese, so it’s tough for foreigners like me to figure out what’s going on. I have been very fortunate in that since the earthquake, I have had not lapse in water or electricity services. Some apartments have water tanks ready for situations like these. I haven’t seen one here, but I’m sure that must be the reason.

Japan Earthquake 2011 Gasoline shortages:

I’m actually hearing that here, in parts of Tsukuba (a SUPER safe city by the way) people are stealing gasoline from parked cars! The lines to gas stations have been extremely long, everyday. Natural disasters, especially ones of this scale, change people’s lives dramatically, and they often respond in turn.

Japan Earthquake 2011 Land and Shop Damages:

Like I mentioned in the Earthshaking Welcome Back to Japan post, some shops really got hit hard. For example, the restaurant, Portofino, where I had my farewell party just weeks ago got mangled, the ceiling fell, and all you can see from the outside are jagged metal rods protruding throughout the store.

Portofino, where I had my farewell party just a few short weeks ago.

Another look at Portofino post-quake.

The Sekisui House building very close to where I live also had window damage as a result of the earthquake:

Japan Earthquake 2011 Aftershocks:

I got zero sleep last night, because there were so many aftershocks. With each one, I was wondering whether to get up and leave my apartment.

Japan Earthquake 2011 Power Outages

Although I haven’t experienced this directly, talked to students had experienced a loss of electricity. I don’t know if they’re going to go through with it or not, but Ibaraki has grouped off sections of the city for planned, rolling blackouts. During an allotted time your group is to be without power for nearly three hours. This is being done to conserve energy.

Transportation Stoppages

This the nuclear reactor problem, and a huge loss of power in Japan, the Tsukuba Express’s service has been limited to specific times and lots of local trains. I was able to catch the train to Ginza earlier to today and it was just fine

Radiation Concerns

This is the thing I can’t quite get a read on but I’m desperately trying to do so, because it’s the biggest concern for me, and has the potential to cause long-term effects.

I’m sure there are other concerns and issues associated with the earthquake as a whole, these are just some of the ones I’m experiencing directly here in Tsukuba.

Still hanging tough,

Donald Ash

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  • heena drabu

    sooooooooooooo sad for japan……

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