Yesterday late in the evening it happened again. Just after half past eleven, a slight motion announced what was about to come, and immediately after that, our smartphones were buzzing to us in two languages: "Earthquake" and "Jichin". And then the shaking started. Even though it must have been a relatively strong quake, fortunately it did not last long and was over quite quickly. There was no damage reported in our region, but the East Coast was that lucky.
Immediately after the quake, almost all television stations switched to disaster mode and the same messages were repeated and regurgitated on all channels. Fortunately, the tsunami warning that had been issued could be withdrawn later and the very big disaster was postponed to another day.
Similar to almost exactly eleven years ago, the quake again occurred in the Tohoku region in the northeast of Japan, with the focus this time on Fukushima Prefecture, which at the time gained sad notoriety due to the reactor accident. But even in Tokyo, people could feel some very strong and scary shaking and there were several power outages, some of which seem to be continuing until now.
Earthquakes are nothing new for Japan, the island kingdom in the Far East is unfortunately often hit by natural disasters. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, tsunamis and typhoons - in Japan you get the full range. Of course, most people have prepared for this and even in pre-school they are taught how to behave in the event of a disaster. In the event of an earthquake, for example, people are advised to get under tables or door frames and to stay away from furniture and other things that could topple over and hit them. Of course, this is common sense, but when disaster strikes, it is hard to turn it on. It can be quite useful if some procedures are already rehearsed and semi-automated.
But fortunately, everything quickly calmed down again and the little ones didn't even wake up. The images on TV were still set to alarm mode and I then decided not to let it affect me any further. Our day would soon be over anyway. But when I was lying on my futon, I noticed another slight shaking. There are usually several aftershocks and some even reached our place, since we were not that far away from the center of the quake.
My thoughts are with all those affected, and I hope that everyone will soon be able to return to a more or less normal everyday life. As beautiful and exciting as our lives are, they can also quickly become risky again. What many of us take for granted is actually the greatest gift we can receive.
Let's cherish it and live every day!
PS: If an earthquake should ever hit you during a visit to the toilet, the very first thing to do is to open the door. If the frame warps and the door gets stuck, at least you can get out of this trap.