Much thanks to Tony, Katie, and Danielle, who provided us three wonderful articles this week about 3/11:
- Resource: Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters
- How I Remember 3/11: Japan Cat Network
- Sent to Sendai: Reflections of an ALT after the Tohoku Earthquake
Our thoughts are with Japan and those whose lives were lost or affected by the 3/11/11 disaster.
At the time, I was visiting UC Berkeley for a visitor’s day for prospective PhDs. I was woken up at 4am by a series of texts from my friends and family on the east coast asking if my host family was okay and if I knew about the huge earthquake that just hit Japan. I half-consciously texted back that earthquakes happen there all the time and I was sure they were fine and went back to sleep. It wasn’t until morning that I found out just how devastating the earthquake had been.
Unfortunately, the university events started early that day, and I didn’t have any time to get to a TV or a computer no matter how badly I wanted to. I spent from 7am to 8pm wondering about my friends and host family, wanting desperately to get to a television. It wasn’t until I made it to the airport that I finally saw footage and realized just how horrible the event had been. I stood teary-eyed among strangers in an airport terminal, watching loops of panicked news reports about radiation and stranded locals. Luckily, I found out that my host family was just fine. But even though they were far from the disaster zone, my host father had been trapped for hours on a shinkansen (bullet train) returning to Tokyo that had shut down, and my host mother was trapped on one of the stopped subways for just as long. 3/11 was frightening from afar for everyone.
Where were you on 3/11?