Thursday, March 24, 2011


Good morning from Japan.

We are having a cold day. Snow even in my part of the country! I really feel for the poor people in the north with no homes to protect them.

We are still having regular strong aftershocks three or four times a day. The news reports that there have been 343 aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater in Japan since March 11. Well, they aren't all right near us so I haven't felt that many but the continual jiggling is probably residue of larger aftershocks elsewhere.

Occasionally things still fall off the wall or roll off the table and yesterday morning we had two tremors that had Tetsu holding onto the TV saving it from a crash on the floor. When I went to the crosswalk there was another aftershock so the principal announced that students would have to wait on the school grounds until all the teachers arrived. Usually the children just go into the opened building and set about reading or doing homework or going about their regular duties (setting out the flag on the flagpole etc.) I caught this picture of the whole student body crouched on the play ground waiting for all staff to arrive.

The night of the first earthquake when the telephones didn't work, I was trying to figure out how to send mail with the cell phone and I noticed this application called "earthquake". Too bad I hadn't registered myself BEFORE the earthquake!

Now that I'm registered my cell phone regularly sets off a loud alarm and lets me know a few seconds before a large earthquake occurs. It is not 100% accurate and it only sounds if an earthquake over 5 magnitude is expected but still it gives me time to turn off the gas or move away from the bookshelf. I've been outside walking Choco when the alarm begins and I'll move off onto the bank of a rice field and wait until things settle down. We are learning to live with earthquakes in a daily way.

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