Settlement report 6/7/2012 -change

Settlement report 6/7/2012

 

Settlement report 6/7/2012 2

 

 

 

I lost the sense of “height”. The shape of the wave was clear. I couldn’t stand still, had to sit down on the ground, where was not contaminated yet. Everyone sat on the street too.
As sitting on the street, everyone tried to connect to the internet with mobile phone. Now we needed information.
It finally ended. For some reason, I took my own photo. I made a silly big smile. I was thinking of uploading it to Facebook when I finally got the internet. Everyone must want to know what is happening and I want them to know that too. However, we needed to use electric appliance carefully because if the battery was dead, we can no longer use it.

I saw what was happening behind me to check the photo that I took by myself. I had my back facing a shopping mall with 5 floors. In the back ground of my photo, hundreds of the shopping mall staff were sitting beside the mall building. They looked like scared sparrows.
They were still in their uniform, some were from cake shop, some were from cafe, some were from kimono shop. The power was still dead. Inside of the mall must have been completely dark. Items must have dropped off from the shelves. I thought they crawled out of the labyrinth of capitalism.
At the center of the intersection, a cook was arranging the traffic. The traffic lights were still dead. Police was somewhere else. It was dangerous but someone had to do that. Everyone did what they can do. The funny thing was he was still wearing the hat of cook. It helped him to be more recognizable but I had never seen a cock was guiding huge dump trucks or buses in the middle of the dusty street. I heard people were saying, still a lot of people were stuck in the elevators. We didn’t know when the power would be back.

I came back to the building where the office is. A brother of the owner is running is vegetable shop in the next building, and around that time, he was always drunk and practicing golf or something at the entrance of our building. He was a funny guy.
I saw him at a loss in front of the building. His mobile radio, which he always listened to horse racing report, was broadcasting the live Tsunami information. I couldn’t understand if it had already come or was coming. It was NHK but it was completely messed up, I hardly caught the word of “15m” or “19m”.
The old man told to nowhere, “it’s over. Japan is over.” I went into the building.

It was completely dark. There was no window in the stairway, and the power was still dead. I couldn’t even see my own hands. I got to the second floor, where the massage shop is. Luckily, 2 female staff were still there. They gave me a torch and told me they would already close the shop and go home. They also told me it was M9.0, the epicenter was around Sendai. They were checking Twitter. Twitter was the only source of information. I remembered my friend in Sendai.

I came back to the office. Everything was scattered on the floor, but luckily, there was no broken grass. I put everything on the floor because aftershock might drop off everything while we were not here. My concern was the sun. The dusk must be about 18:30. It was already 16:30. Because of the black out, traffic was expected to be a complete mess at night. Also, because everyone tried to go home, massive traffic jam was expected. From the story I heard at the convenient store, train was stopped too. I thought I should go home on foot. It usually takes 1 and a half hour, but considering the traffic, it might take longer than 2 hours. I didn’t want to walk after the dusk because it would be very dangerous. I decided to go home.

Then I heard the scream and complaining of my mother downstairs. She was struggling to step up the stairway in the dark. I was working for my family company and my boss, my parents came to the office around 16:00 everyday. I didn’t know why she had to come here. I helped her with the torch. She was completely panicking, couldn’t judge what to do after the first shock of 14:46. She had her both hands full of random things like cushion or snack etc.. Soon after she came, my father came too. Both were panicking and complaining about the traffic mess.
I had my coworkers (two men) working near the coast. They went to Zushi since early in the morning. We tried to call them but we couldn’t get connected to the phone line yet. I hoped they were safe, but also, I thought they might not be able to come back during that day.
It was already near 17:00. It was already starting to get dark and cold. The heater was dead too.
I explained them that I had to hurry and leave there though it wasn’t still ending time of my work. They said we must wait for the coworkers, but as a matter of fact, whether we waited for them or not, nothing changes. My boss / parents were still thinking in the normal “range”. It was obviously a wrong decision. First, aftershock may have come anytime. Second, the power was still dead, the entire floor, building, and the town would be complete dark. Third, telephone, heater, PC, everything was unavailable. Forth, the place was completely isolated from information. You would never know even if fire happens next door.
I dared to break the rule. It was the first time when I thought more of my life and safety than “company”. I started thinking as an individual. The game changed. You must break the old rule and mustn’t feel scared because you are the leader of your own life. I was already starting to gain some kind of confidence to judge right in emergency.
I couldn’t decide anything at work like all the other 20s because I had no experience, but because no one had gone through this disaster, we were at the same start line. There was no boss or un-boss to survive. Whoever it is, the right decision is the right decision. Even if it’s a president or prime minister, decisions not based on the facts are absolutely wrong. It will cause a disaster. The rule of the game changed.

I was also worried about my turtles. Because it was still cold, I used electric heaters for their cases. If earthquake moved the heaters out of water, it may cause fire. Anyway, I had to go home soon as possible.

My mobile phone got the signal but I didn’t want to waste the battery. I couldn’t check the map to go home, but I remembered the way. When I didn’t even have money to take a bus, I had taken a walk to the office.
Poverty saved me. Dots and lines.

There were other people walking on the street too. Some wore helmets. Some had mobile radio. I walked near those with mobile radio to catch up with information.
Air was unusually yellow. I had to go through two hills. My feet hurt a little bit with my business shoes.
I was remembering the shopping mall staff like scared sparrows.

 

 

Categories: Natural disasters

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