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Thursday will be 10 years since the March 11, 2011 disaster. What are your memories of that day?


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I was then overseas far away way from home. It was on Friday morning at work during the break, one of my co-workers informed me of it as a breaking news by showing some videoclips on the mobile. At first I didn't react much (earthquakes were common in Japan), soon felt terrified as the death toll was bigger than thought, skyrocketing over time with quite many more missing. I spent most of that weekend following updates from Japan on the Internet. The Fukushima crisis was depressive.

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I was drinking Asahi and eating yakiniku at my favorite restaurant in Hyuga, Miyazaki when I heard about it.

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The first live helicopter shots of the tsunami around Sendai plains were my strongest memory of that day.

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Insomnia. Turned on NHK with ‘live’ helicopters of the incoming tsunami. Surrealistic. As shocked, ‘observers’ we could never truly imagine the horror and helplessness the humanity there was facing.

Our support is still needed for ‘all the survivors’. It would be the most respectful form of memorial to all the deceased.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was still in high school back then and when we watched the news that night, we were shocked by how devastating the tsunami got. I remember contacting my classmate whose mother was working in Osaka if she was affected by the quake.

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For me the biggest memory is the calm before storm as it were. After the main quake, and the large aftershock half an hour later, it was weird outside. People were all coming out on the streets, looking around. A few people had radios, playing news of the quakes and the tsunami warnings. Then, as the hours progressed, and the news and video started coming it, it became apparent just how bad it was, and clear that thousands and thousands would be dead, and that the rest of us were only there by the grace of being lucky enough to either be away from the tsunami side, or high enough in elevation to not worry.

The next day was stress - people were rushing to the grocery stores and buying all the food and gas they could get. There were lineups for the gas stations ridiculously long. The aftershocks just kept coming (for months at that). And then we had to deal with the rolling blackouts as a result of less power. Fortunately, it was not deep winter or it could have been much colder for a lot of people.

Hard to believe it's been 10 years. RIP to those for whom that was their last day and hours. I'll never forget.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Crouching under the dining room table as things fell all around me. Glasses and plates shattering on the floor, fishtanks slopping over covering the floor in water, the piano jumping away from the wall into the middle of the living room.

The phone and Internet were down, so going in search of a public call box to check that family members were all safe.

Watching horrorstruck as TV reports showed the effects of the tsunami.

Long queues of cars all down the street in the days that followed, whenever there was word that there had been a delivery of petrol.

Empty shelves in the supermarkets.

We apparently share a power system with part of Ibaraki, so no rolling blackouts because we were considered a disaster area (even though we got off pretty lightly), but still keeping electricity use to a minimum so that there would be more for those that needed it.

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It was a surreal experience. Not the earthquake by itself, I was at work (in Tokyo) and only some stuff fell from the shelves, but then we saw the images of the tsunami destroying the villages, it was difficult to comprehend that it was actually happening in real life and it is not a movie. Then all the trains stopped, wife had to walk many hours home, I tried to go pick her up by car but all the streets were clogged with cars, and thousands of people were walking home, mostly in silence. Then all the shelves in the supermarket emptied, long lines at gas stations, aftershocks and a general end-of-days gloomy feeling.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At a meeting in Tokyo. Remember everything shaking, not violently but for what felt like ages, being evacuated outside onto a narrow hill behind the building and looking nervously at the cranes around us (new mansion buildings because, of course). The first aftershock knocking some people off their feet. I remember everyone with that new type of phone from Apple could find out what was going on while those of us with the flip phones were unable to make any calls. Drained my phone battery out twice over trying to call my partner. We both switched to smartphones not long after.

Like Strangerland said, the streets were just full of people walking...somewhere...I think alot of people wound up walking home in the end. Cars and buses just stopped in a massive traffic jam. I can remember it was actually a pretty cold day but conbinis were giving away ice cream in some places- along with water. The full magnitude of it didn't hit until reaching Tokyo Midtown about an hour after the first shake and seeing the tsunami footage on that big screen they have. Managed to eventually get home in West Tokyo and then it was just about trying to get supplies and near-constant channel hopping between NHK and BBC, though much more BBC after watching Fukushima blow-up live on camera and NHK trying to downplay it.

One moment from the day that always stuck with me: we're all evacuated outside after the initial tremor on that little side street, everything shaking, everyone is getting increasingly agitated and this Kuroneko Takubin driver pulls up, unloads a package, gets the completely bemused security staff to sign for it, hops back in the truck and drives off routine as you like.

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Had just come back from Japan and watched in disbelief as events unfolded.

Still find it difficult to watch footage from that day.

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We're nearly 300km away, but the house swayed for close to one minute. Slow and big amplitude movements, as would make you seasick on a boat.

The first live helicopter shots of the tsunami around Sendai plains were my strongest memory of that day.

This is what I remember too. It was Sendai Airport and will have been Japanese footage, but I saw it first online, I'm sure it was Al-Jazeera, before it appeared on the regular Japanese tv channel we were watching. They were still showing stuff like shaking newsrooms, tiles having fallen off buildings in Tokyo, and a refinery that had caught fire.

Our neighbourhood has since been hit by a very big localised earthquake that destroyed many homes. If you are in Japan, it can happen to you, so do what you can to be prepared.

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I was drinking Asahi and eating yakiniku at my favorite restaurant in Hyuga, Miyazaki when I heard about it.

Not sure what's sadder bout this post. Is it the humblebrag of drinking beer and eating yakiniku while thousands perished, or thinking that drinking booze at 2:45 on a weekday afternoon is a humblebrag?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I was out on the street, on my bike.

When I saw wires swinging, I stopped and got off it, but I could not stand up.

I still have bad reactions to rumbling doors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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