The earthquake in Japan on March 11th is looking to be one of the worst in japanese history. By some reports it is the 5th strongest earthquake to hit the earth since 1900.
Anyway you look at it, it is pretty bad here at the moment. Not in Tokyo which is slowly coming back to normal despite what appears to be a regular series of after shocks and a threatening nuclear disaster in Fukushima just a couple of hundred kilometres upwind of us. One friend here commented last night that it was hardly worth getting out from under the table and indeed the streets are eerily quiet as people seem to be spending time with family and stocking up on emergency supplies.
Because there is a distinct difference to that normality these days: people may be out, it’s a Sunday of kids in the park and shopping but it is hard to ignore the news and reports coming from the north, the effects of the Tsunami killing perhaps tens of thousands of people and the knowledge that this very country, Japan, has moved 2.4 metres due to the severity of the earthquake.
There is a palpable feeling of foreboding. It feels like we are in an unlucky time and though no-one will outwardly admit it we are all waiting for the big one to hit Tokyo. I hope it doesn’t and the release of pressure that comes from one big earthquake would ordinarily preclude another big one arriving soon after. The problem is that Tokyo sits on a different fault(s) than the one that caused this quake and we cannot know yet the stress that existed there, or have been added to or reduced by the earthquake on Friday.
Wish the details of this disaster in this picture, that I took in a hotel lobby on Friday night, were still true.
Another earthquake hits as I write this.