Saturday 12 March 2011

I'm OK

Thank you all for all your messages.
My internet is working at last so I can reply. I am alright but it has been a scary day.

I was just leaving a conference when it happened. The building roared and the cars were bouncing around in the carpark. I crouched on the ground. It went on for a very long time. Very scary. And it was snowing hard and windy too. I drove like mad back to work (about 15 mins), along the way car showrooms with the glass windows smashed, walls collapsed. Everyone was out in the yard. No one hurt, thank god. We stopped production and sent everyone home. The main machine not working. Needs welding tomorrow - if we can get someone to do it. Had to wait till we could account for all the salesmen. Three out in Iwaki, two had to abandon their cars and head for higher ground. They saw the tsunami. They're back now though safe and sound.

I walked home. The stone lanterns at the shrine smashed to the ground, a parked car hit by debris. The pavement ominously cracked and raised as I approached my apartment. Our ancient office building had stood up quite welll and I really wasn't prepared for the damage in my upmarket apartment. The residents had organised a 'welcoming party' and a young man went with me up the the stairs to the 7th floor. Debris everywhere. My door opened but won't shut. I grabbed my valuables and went down to join some of the other residents to watch telly in the caretaker's office but eventually decided to come back up to the apartment. I have electricity, TV, heating and I've cleaned up the worst of the mess. Half my crockery is smashed. So I'm OK. But the shocks continue and I won't be sleeping tonight.  The scariest thing was the lack of information and phone communication. I still can't use my mobile. I was getting calls from England but none from Japan and unable to make any. I still don't know how things are in our Sendai office.

Also, the TV is full of reporters telling us what's happening but there's a distinct lack of experts telling us what to do. I guess they're busy.The news is horrific, hundreds dead in the tsunami, Kasen-numa (where we holidayed once when Takeshi was small) ablaze.

The economic toll will be huge. For starters, how are we going to get the 120 doors in this apartment alone fixed? And what do I do until it is fixed?

Watch this space.
Thanks for your concern

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