On the morning of Friday March 11th I arrived in Singapore to visit with some dear friends for a one day stopover between Japan and India. After a long day of roaming around Singapore (pictures coming later) I wanted to check my email before getting back to the airport for my 2:30am flight. Working from the newest emails to the oldest I learned that Zach Miloff (one of my spiritual brothers and host in Japan) is okay. Okay with what? People are wondering if I’m okay, if Anis is okay, if we made out of Japan alright. It turns out I missed a massive earthquake by just 14 hours.
Throughout my six day visit to Japan the subject of the next big earthquake was often on Zach’s mind. He kept saying that the experts are saying that Japan is long overdue for another big one, that Japan isn’t prepared. Hmm, interesting stuff, Zach — and what’s with that group of teenagers dressed like cartoon characters?
Zach was at a Costo in Chiba City (the city outside Tokyo where he lives) preparing to print some photos when the initial quake happened:
…I’m about to plug my SD card into the reader, when the woman who was just using the computer needs room to push her cart through. I step back, and notice something’s wrong. The floor is beginning to move. I look up, and I’m directly below a huge metal sign board with all the photo lab pricing on it, hanging from two long wires from the ceiling. I step back a few more feet. The shaking escalates quickly. People start screaming and diving under shopping carts. Stuff is falling from the shelves, and lights are crashing from the ceiling. I’m still looking up, and manage to situate myself between the swinging lights. I’ve never been in this large an earthquake, but I’m confident we’ll be okay. I stand calmly and pray for our protection.
Later that day, he writes:
At some point around 5pm, there is a massive explosion, and the windows of my apartment rattle violently. I look out the window and see a great orb of light emanating from behind some buildings southwest of my apartment.
Over the following five days Zach prays and cycles and all over Chiba as he tries to figure out what to do next. On Monday, three days after the main event:
There are so many aftershocks that standing in one place to brush my teeth or do the dishes makes me nauseous. My world feels like it’s constantly swaying. Could also be the adrenaline. My friend said it feels like walking on a ship.
As the situation has been going increasingly nuclear, last night Zach headed to Narita Airport to get on the next flight to Seoul, Korea. To read more of this first-hand account of this historical event illustrated by incredible photographs, I highly recommend reading Zach’s blog documenting the experience. Start from the bottom and work your way up.