The Situation in Japan

Posted on March 12th, 2011 by

Kesennuma in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami


















As northern Japan is the scene of disaster and destruction, here in Hirakata we wait to see what we can do to help. As everyone has no doubt heard by now, northern Japan was hit by an incredibly destructive earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter scale followed only minutes later by a power tsunami. 1300 people are thought to have lost their lives in what was the largest recorded earthquake in Japanese history.

Unfortunately the destruction and worry is far from over for those in Japan. Scientists are predicting that there will likely be at least one more earthquake within the month. The shift in the plates from yesterday’s earthquake is thought to have increased tension in southern Japan around the Tokyo region, meaning that the next earthquake could be further south. Adding to the worries of more earthquakes is the ongoing situation with two nuclear reactors to the north of Tokyo that are currently in the process of melting down. At the moment the communities nearest the reactors have been evacuated and the Japanese government is working quickly to get the situation in hand.

Here in Hirakata, hundreds of miles to the south of yesterday’s earthquake, we felt we felt only the faintest tremors as elsewhere buildings and vehicles were destroyed by the seventh largest earthquake ever recorded. Everyone here is acutely aware of how lucky we are to be safe, even if anxiety remains about predicted aftershocks. Personally there is almost an surreal feeling that I get watching the news and seeing the footage of utter destruction while life in Hirakata continues relatively unchanged. Many students here are looking to find some way to help those in need and show support for a country that they’ve come to love over the last month and a half.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as we continue to hope for the best in the days to come.


One Comment

  1. Jill Fischer says:

    Kyle, my thoughts and prayers are with you, all the other Gustavus students and the people of Japan. Thanks for posting here.