This is the news I woke up to this morning. Oddly enough, I woke up at 7am, which -never- happens. Also, I was having weird dreams last night of where I used to live in Japan, along with friends, students, and events. Not everything was peachy-keen in my dreams, and I did wake up a little disoriented. I was aware of the earthquake that happened earlier on Wednesday, maybe that's why I was thinking about everything before?
After seeing the news, my first thoughts were: how are my friends? co-workers? students? I lived in Morioka (city), Iwate (prefecture) for a year teaching English at a private school, and made many friends through my time there. Not only that, but many of my friends from college now live in Japan, more towards Yokohama and Tokyo. My mind was in both places, needing to know how everyone was.
Thank god all my friends kept continuously posting updates on Facebook. I'll admit, I'm a FB addict, but I -really- needed to hear how my friends were, and know that they were okay. Granted, they are in one piece, but I heard some disastrous stories! All trains being knocked out for power, some having to walk <b> 4 HOURS </b> to get home! At least they got home, with food and water in their homes, and a roof over their heads. The last I checked, around 120,000 people were stranded in Tokyo, unable to return to their homes, and left to stay in the city. Others were able to get to their homes, but left with no electricity or heat, and it was very cold. Even some friends were able to take pictures of some of the damage. One was able to take a picture of the smoke from a building in Odaiba, within Tokyo's vicinity.
Knowing that my friends were safe relieved me, but I hurriedly wrote emails to all my co-workers, friends, and students who didn't use Facebook. Throughout the day I heard word that they were okay, just a bit shaken, and that it was a -huge- earthquake. Knowing that they're safe though... that's all that matters.
Just to give you an idea, here is an image with where the epicenter of the earthquake was, and where I used to live:
|The epicenter was closest to the city of Sendai (#4). I used to live in Morioka, Iwate.|
My only request is to please, DONATE to help the victims of this horrible event. There are tons of ways to donate, from using the internet to simply texting from your phone. Here are some links:
Links through Yahoo News
Links through USA Today
Please don't think you're wasting time or effort, every penny counts. Adam and I have already donated, and hell, I'm unemployed! If anyone hears of ways to volunteer help in Japan, -please- let me know. Since Japan isn't a 3rd world country, I don't think they will be excepting untrained civilian help, but if anything different comes up, I would be grateful for the post. Thanks everyone, take care.