< Saturday, March 12 >
It was kind of quiet although there were some aftershocks. Shops and public facilities were open. It was becoming clear that many people had died but the numbers were still measured in hundreds. It was very sunny and warm in Tokyo. Cherry blossoms were starting to bloom. Spring is coming in spite of everything. Then the news of the nuclear plant explosion came.
< Sunday , March 13 >
We got to know more about the harm caused by the tsunami it had increased to the scale of thousands or tens of thousands of people killed, missing and who had lost their homes. We had more aftershocks.
< Monday, March 14 >
As the nuclear plant was shut down, there was not enough power, and planned blackouts were announced. In my area blackouts were planned from 12:20pm for 3 hours. Public schools were closed so children stayed at home. I went to a supermarket to buy food for lunch at around 11:40 and there were many people trying to buy things. It was packed and there was a long line at the cash register. The supermarket stopped people coming in at about 12pm. People were panicky. It ended up that the blackout was cancelled but the shops were closed anyway, the university web servers were turned off and trains were stopped. The problems at the nuclear plant were becoming more serious, but different information was coming from different sources and no one knew what was really happening.
< Tuesday, March 15 >
Lots of emails started to come through various mailing lists. Some were from medical professionals in the directly affected areas. Some were about rescue/relief efforts. Some were very ordinary correspondence. Gaps of reality were so huge and confusing. I was planning to join relief efforts, but realized it would be hard to reach the area because of lack of gasoline, food and transportation.
There had been another big aftershock at midnight the night before. My son slept in the car again. He’d got some bruises on his hand which he didn’t notice until next morning. He must have hit his hand when he was trying to leave the apartment.
<March 16, Wednesday>
I sent my son to New York where other family members live. Early in the morning we drove to the new Haneda International Airport. The highway was not crowded and there were no traffic restrictions. In the airport there were many foreigners with lots of luggage. Many people seemed to be waiting to buy tickets from cancellations.
<Thursday, March 17 to Monday, March 21>
I am now getting too tired to keep up the journal, so to be brief.
We notice that we are getting used to aftershocks. Nuclear issues are really becoming serious. Many mothers with children are leaving Tokyo. Many of them are feeling guilty about “escaping”. The shelters in the affected areas are getting a bit more food and other essential things, but people are really getting exhausted. Not being able to go there, I am trying to think what I can do. I’ve stopped watching television, which has made me much more stable and calm.
To be continued….