Former Vistor to Humboldt and Japanese Resident Describes Earthquake and What Followed
Miho Miyamoto has been to Humboldt several times but she works in Tokyo, Japan and she kindly allowed me to reproduce the picture she took above and her description of what happened as the earthquake rolled and afterward. Her story describes vividly the simple details that everyday folk miles from the epicenter are struggling to overcome.
When it started shaking, I was thinking to go back to my desk after lunch.
The shaking lasted for about 4 minutes and last 2 minutes were HELL. All the table and chair had rollers in that room, so I slid here and there with them. It was impossible to stand up to walk during the earthquake. My mind flashed back to the New Zealand earthquake last month, which caused Japanese deaths due to the collapse of a building. I cannot describe how scary it was. After it stopped and when I was going back to my desk, I could not walk straight because of fear. I was shaking because of fear.
One of my coworkers found there was fire in a building across the street, so there was a quick evacuation order. We could not use elevators because some … were damaged, so we all walked down stairs. A good thing was we had a large park in front of our building. We all stayed there for about two hours. Of course, we had lots of aftershocks and one of them was as strong as the first earthquake.
We were told to get back to our office to do work so we unwillingly went up stairs to the 9th floor. But soon after we reached the floor, a boss said we were free to go back home.
(There was no way to go home without walk though) I walked for two hours with my coworkers, waited for my friends at a restaurant for 7 hours, and was picked up by two of my friends with a car. We drove for four hours, and when we were waiting for the front car moving ahead, a taxi behind us crashed into our car! That was kind of big shock, and one who was in the assistant driver’s seat complained of pain of his back and chest. But it wasn’t so bad. I was totally fine. It took a while to finish the inspection of the scene by a police man. It was already 7 am and the driver had to go back to work, so one of my friends and I got off the car to walk to the nearest station to get on a train, which service was resumed already. It took me four hours to get home after we got off the car, though it is like an hour away distance. When I reached my neighborhood, I could not stop crying because I got relived to get home finally.
My house condition is better than I expected. I saw a lot of cracks in the wall in my office building so i don feel like going to work next Monday.
Well, my family is safe! That is what I need to care about the most! Thank you all for being worried about me and my family.
Still now, I feel aftershocks every 5-15 minutes. Some are kind of big. Apparently we have to keep strong for a next few weeks.
It is said the number of deaths will be over fifteen hundred. I hope more and more people will be resucued so soon.
May life get easier soon, Miho. Thank you for sharing what is happening with us.
Here is a photo of Miho taken 2 years ago.