spinelstar: (shisei)
[personal profile] spinelstar
Okay. I have just witnessed something really tragic happening very close to home, or what I have been considering my home for over six months. The destruction is awful. Aftershocks are still happening up north and causing worry. And unfortunately, worst of all, it's cost hundreds of lives.

But for my own sake, I need to shed some sunshine on the situation.

This is about the worst thing that could ever have possibly happened-- the worst recorded earthquake to hit Japan, ever. Places were hit with 10m waves, and the entire coastline was affected, including the little fishing village I reside in on the east coast. A very similar earthquake happened in the 1920's, and it left over 140,000 people dead.

And yet none of the projected figures I've heard this time are over 1,000.

There are literally millions of people in Sendai, where it hit the worst. Somehow, they had about 15 minutes of warning, and that was enough to save millions of lives. I haven't heard anything about overcrowded shelters. I haven't even heard anything about people not having food and water. The majority of places even up north seem to have running water and electricity, and people seem to be able to contact each other for the most part.

I am so incredibly grateful for this amazing country I've been able to visit, and even call my home for this year, that it's literally bringing me to tears. I can't believe how prepared they are-- it doesn't make any sense, almost; this could have ended up so much worse. I am so impresed by the calm and dutiful way people are taking care of the situation and each other during this time. And I am so amazingly lucky to be here now, in the age of so much information in a developed country where it seems like not a single person has been left in the dark about what's going on. Even I, who can't understand most Japanese, have been able to figure out everything as it's happening, and even call and see my family and tell them I am fine.

Down in my town, we heard sirens and dozens of warnings. I was at school when we heard (less than 10 minutes after the earthquake), and we kept the children after school just in case, because some of them walk close to the ocean on the way home. But the wave didn't even come over the barriers, or stir the boats in the harbor. And all of my teachers were watching and being very careful, and no one was in a panic. It's incredibly comforting, to know that even as bad as all this was, so many people are being protected and taken care of like that.

Again, don't get me wrong: this is a horrible tragedy. Where I am was barely hit with anything (I didn't even feel it) and I can't comprehend some of the images I'm seeing. But watching the news and talking about how bad it was isn't helping me anymore, and even though worrying seems appropriate or even important to me somehow, let's face it, it's not helping anyone else either.

I'd rather pray for those affected, but also sincerely thank God for all of the lives that were saved, because of all the hard work the people of Japan have put into being prepared for things like this. I think it's nothing short of a miracle.

Edit (3/14): I am saddened and even angry about more recent reports; things are worse than I was led to believe on Saturday. Still, even as my heart is breaking and the true extent of the damage is taking my words away, I know I still need to be grateful that it wasn't even worse. Pray that the thousands still missing are found.
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