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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Disaster in Japan/ 今回の災害

First of all, I would like to show my deepest sympathy for the people who suffered from the recent earthquake and tsunami in north east Japan.

Also I am very grateful that I have received so many comforting messages through e-mails and facebook from all my friends, from all over the world.  I have delivered these messages to my family and my friends in Japan, so that they know that people care.

This is the picture of Tokyo on the day, where my family and most of my friends live:
The earthquake was really big - though we are used to earthquakes, some of my friends said "I thought this was the end"..
The biggest problem was that all the public transport stopped, and people were forced to walk back home from their offices - if they could.  My sister ended up walking two hours to get back home (and she lives and works in central Tokyo - this gives you some idea of the size of the city).  Some people stayed at their office overnight, and waited until the trains started running again the following morning.
Most of the buildings in Tokyo were unaffected by the earthquake, but everyday life is surely affected: due to low power supply, the surrounding areas (and perhaps part of Tokyo by now) are experiencing planned power-cuts, and public transport is running on a reduced schedule.
On top of these everyday-inconveniences, people are beginning to worry about the nuclear power plant issue and potential fallout.  What hangs over our head like a dark, thick cloud is, that we don't know how long the current situation is going to last.

Regarding the nuclear power plant, I got the impression that we are not receiving clear or enough explanation from Tepco, or the government, and that is increasing people's anxiety.
I guess it is not only me who feels more assured when you see an expert talking on BBC, saying "There is very little risk" "They are taking the right measures", than hearing the spokesman of Tepco saying the same thing.  They sound more objective and straight forward than the Japanese officials (I find this site very helpful to understand what went wrong).

Finally, I would like to ask whoever visits this blog, to help the ones who need help.
It is snowing in the affected areas, and people are waiting for food, petrol and blankets, while the aid teams struggle to travel across the deeply cracked roads still filled with debris.
I have been thinking a lot about what I could do personally to help, and it seems that right now, the obvious  thing is to support one of the organisations that are actively helping with the rescue effort.

Red Cross (UK)

UNICEF (Japan) (Japanese)

If you are based in other countries, please check Red Cross of your country.





そんな中、BBC のニュースで原発の専門家が「東電は正しい対応をしている。危険な状況だとは思えない」と断言していると、なんだかほっとします。彼らには何かを隠す理由や、東電の味方をする理由はなく、客観的な判断を下しているのだろう、と思えるからです(英語ですが、アニメーションで分かりやすい説明をしているのはこちら)。





  1. 桜さん、banoffi@埼玉です。

  2. Banoffi 様
    今日は、SKY News で、ドーランの濃い学者が喋っていましたが、見かけで「信用できない」と思ってしまいました(笑)