Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hiding place

Japan is still having earthquakes. My cell phone alarm goes off regularly, sometimes in time to move elsewhere, sometimes right in the midst of a shaker. "NOW you tell me!"

Yesterday started out bright and sunny but by late afternoon we were getting thunder and lightning. I brought Choco back in the house. A few minutes later the sky was dark and it was pouring down rain. Whew! Choco is happy to be out of that. English children began arriving for a 4:30 class and things went normally (with flashes and rumbles) until 5:15... when the house started shaking, things started falling and my cell phone alarm went off again.

"Okay guys, get away from the book shelf."

A couple of kids moved next to me.

"And get away from the game cupboard."

A few things crashing in the other room. I had my arms around 6 kids.

"Let's make a break and everybody go to the dining room (a whole 10 steps away) and get under the dining room table."

So 7 of us piled under the table, ousting Toi from where he had already taken shelter.

"The kitty went into the other room. Is he going to be okay?"

"The kitty can fit under the sofa if he wants to. He'll be fine."

I have a small dining room table... We all looked like ostriches with out heads in the sand and our backsides sticking out! The kids are getting so used to earthquakes that no one looks scared anymore. I reached over to the snack cupboard and pulled out a box of chocolate chip cookies.

"We might as well have a picnic while we're under here."

And we ate cookies as the house continued to shake off and on for the next 15 minutes. So much for English class.

What with thunder and lightning and rain and aftershocks, the next class decided they wouldn't come after all.

Since then the house is shaking regularly. The news says that after yesterday's first shake, there have been more than 50 aftershocks! It's getting to where I no longer think of the house as being stable... The house is shaking? Sure, isn't that what houses do in Japan?

Our aftershocks aren't huge but still it makes for light sleeping. We wake up tired in the mornings. Think what the people farther north who are getting stronger shocks are feeling. All this jumping at sounds and grabbing at furniture and looking around you for falling objects must be very hard on mental health...

On the news last night we were being warned that the possibility of a huge earthquake occurring directly under Tokyo in the next 30 years is at 87%. Goodness! Between the possibility of falling ill from radiation affects 30 years from now and another major earthquake within 30 years, long life doesn't look so appealing. Of course no one says the next earthquake will come AFTER 30 years... that's between NOW and 30 years. Sigh...

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