Earthquake report, JWs edition

Today began as a slightly adventurous day, as a tremor-induced emergency jaunt to the parking lot brought relief from the monotony of marking entrance exams. But as news began to roll in of the effects of what is now being called the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s recorded history, the adventurous mood turned much more somber.

Before I go any further, I want to let everyone know that we personally are okay, the earthquakes we’ve felt in our area are relatively modest, and our apartment is towards the mountains and up a giant hill, so we are not in any danger of tsunamis. We are stocked up on water, calorie mates, Pringles, and chocolate, and our official “evacuation shelter,” the local elementary school, is a two minute walk from our place, should we need to utilize it.

The main earthquake, which was a magnitude 8.9 last I checked, felt like about a 3.5 for us. Check out the map below to see where we’re located in the fray of things. This map was released immediately after the first earthquake, and the magnitude has since been upgraded, but you’ll get the idea:

image: Japan Meteorological Agency

I was in my office on the third floor of our school when the shaking began. It felt like we were on a large ship, such as one of the big BC Ferries, rocking back and forth on the sea. I actually felt seasick for awhile afterwards, I don’t really know what else to call it. Anyways, the sensei and I all looked around at each other, not saying much beyond nervous laughter, wondering if the rolling sensation was going to stop or get worse. When it did subside we noticed other staff were gathering out front in the parking lot, so as an emergency announcement came over the PA, we hurried downstairs to join them. Thankfully there were no students in the school at the time, otherwise the evacuation would have likely been much more chaotic. We gathered outside for awhile, and eventually filed back in, huddling in the front office to watch the news reports.

There have since been a series of aftershocks, and as you well know if you’ve been watching the news, some pretty serious tsunamis in many areas. Apparently more earthquakes and tsunamis are expected, and for our port city of Yokkaichi flooding is anticipated, although as I said our apartment is towards the mountains and should remain unscathed (by flooding, at least). Accordingly, we’ve canceled our travel plans for the weekend.

I don’t want to downplay the seriousness of what our neighbours to the north have experienced and are experiencing, so I will not ramble on about our mild-in-comparison experiences. We don’t personally know anyone so far in any of the seriously affected regions, but many of our friends and coworkers definitely do, so we are only two degrees separated from many of those affected. That makes those of you reading this three degrees separated from them at the most, so while we appreciate everyone’s concern, please turn your thoughts and prayers to those who need them most!


11 thoughts on “Earthquake report, JWs edition

  1. Devastating for so many! Thank’s to the big guy upstairs for keeping you safe. Watching all the news coverage on TV, made me appreciate eating my Sushi dinner safe and sound on solid ground all the more! My prayers tonight will be for all those who have suffered through this. I’m so thankful the JWs are safe!

  2. Hi JWs: We are so grateful that you are safe & that you spent the time to send us your blog of how you are doing. Ralph & I have really been enjoying your creative writing expressions & the stories with humour are fantastic!
    Watch what you eat & better yet, watch what looks like the picture of what you are eating – that picture worth a thousand words may have some choice sounds!!!! Just say neigh the next time such is offered.
    Natasha called first thing this morning to see if you were okay & grandma called very concerned.
    I was so glad to speak with your mom & dad & also read his message he sent out.
    My love & prayers go to you & also to all those impacted by this great force of nature. Hugs, Aunty Madelaine

  3. I am so out of touch when at work. Just found out about the earthquake when I got home about an hour ago. So glad you are both ok. Love you.

  4. wow, how terrifying. so glad you both arent that affected by it. what is the situation like now? i feel like cell phone reception is likely down. definitely thinking of you both and the rest of japan!

  5. Thank God you are OK. I was so worried. God bless you both and keep safe.

    Louise and Brent

  6. Hi guys
    so happy to hear you are safe, i just contacted Dan and he sent me your blog.
    Love you guys
    stay safe

  7. So glad that you both are okay! I will keep in mind and prayer those who’ve suffered loss and injury, your friends, and of course those who are now involved in rescue. You’ve written an excellent report of your experience, Genkiduck!

    Blessings and love,


  8. Hi There

    So glad your okay! I just heard the news. There is much
    devastation near the center of the quake. We are expecting a waves about 2 feet, beaches are closed, I am up a bit of a hill on the east coast of Vancouver Island, so I am okay.

    Take care,

    Love, Auntie Pat

  9. So happy to hear you are safe. Woke up hearing about the quake, and it was such a relief you’d already sent out a blog!
    Now would be a great time to tell you how much we enjoy reading about your adventures, especially the fun and silly stuff. You are a terrific writer.
    Thanks again for the post.
    Chris and Sandy in Nanaimo
    PS Port Alberni and the west coast is expecting a minor tsumani today -only about 60 cm

    • So happy you are both safe! I will keep in mind and prayer both those who are suffering loss and experienced injury, your friends, and of course those who are involved in rescue. This was terrifying to watch unfold! Thanks for the report. It was excellent to read.



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