Citizen Byte: Japan Earthquake - Alex
I'm working part-time west of Tokyo, near one of the busy trunk railways shunting commuters between the city and the suburbs northwest of Yokohama and west of Tokyo. The knowledge now of the tragedy in Sendai seems to make the difficulties here petty.
Still, when the quake hit our language school at approximately 3:00 p.m. [local time], it was another one of those "Oh, I wonder how long it will take before anyone else feels it" kind of quakes. Slowly coming, building up, almost like a large truck going by, except no trucks can go by on the cul-de-sac that is the taxi zone here by Shin-Yurigaoka station.
That changed to a rolling, wave-like feeling, and I literally felt like I was surfing on the floor. I seriously wondered if this eight-storey office building might not tip over, spilling us out the windows and to the street below. After a couple of minutes, as the shaking didn't abate, I asked my students to come away from the windows, opened the door to my classroom, and saw our office secretary/manager urging me and everyone in the school to leave the building NOW.
After we left and were waiting to be given the all-clear to re-enter, I went to a local bar, it being a Friday afternoon and having finished teaching for the day. After all, the trains had stopped running so I had the time. Four beers and five hours later, there was no promise of getting the train back home for me, or for anyone.
In the train station, people stood or sat or squatted by the closed station shops, hoping they'd not have to sleep here overnight. However, some enterprising types had found cardboard to lie on and protect them from the chill of the floor. As far as I know, they are huddled there still - I was able to join a fellow teacher back at the school, forced by schedule to stay to the end of the school day, though no students were coming.
Shin-Yuri, a minor hub on the Odakyu Line, is 30 minutes from the major hub of Shinjuku in Tokyo by the commuter express train, and is home to three shopping centers and an arts university. When the trains stopped, hundreds and hundreds of people were put out...and remain so. Looking out of the office window at 11:00 p.m, I saw a line of about 80 people waiting for a city bus.
It's now 20 minutes past midnight, and I'm listening to the BBC World Service and other agencies, checking out Twitter and Facebook and assuring people I'm okay, though I worry how my apartment must be. The earthquake that hit on Wednesday was nothing. I was lying in bed and it barely fazed me; I've stood up in alarm due to bigger ones. This one today ... this one ... words fail me. I wonder if my two-storey [apartment] building even still stands. I'll find out tomorrow when I head home. At least, I expect the trains here will be running again then.
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
If you're part of the CBC News community, you're likely to meet one of us: we're the folks working to produce and promote your stories. Read more about us.
More Your Community Entries
- 2012 (1155)
- Should dogs and cats be taxed?
- May photo contest: Daisy macro
- Your take: A Harley Davidson lost in the tsunami changed my life
- Reaction to the law on Quebec protests
- Was Montreal right to ban masks during public protests?
- Nude Harper painting gets chilly online reception
- Should the Quebec government suspend classes?
- Do you agree with the police watchdog's G20 report recommendations?
- Online dater sends out awkward post-date survey
- Should Nik Wallenda use a safety device to cross Niagara Falls?
- Should government seek clemency for Canadians on death row?
- Ugly Meter app worries cyber bullying activists
- And the winner of our April showers photo contest is...
- What would you add to Avery Canahuati's bucket list?
- Who is Titanic II backer Clive Palmer?
- Trending April 30: Titanic II, Conrad Black
- Should Conrad Black regain his Canadian citizenship?
- CBC's David McKie on investigative reporting
- Should rooftop missiles be installed for London Olympics security?
- Obama and Kimmel high-five at White House Correspondents' Dinner
- March photo contest: the winner!
- Shatner-hosted 2012 Juno Awards inspire fanfare
- 10 readers share their Katimavik stories
- Katimavik defended 26 years after Hébert hunger strike
- Earth Hour, Mega Millions, angry 'Beliebers' in morning trends
- Maple syrup hoarders prepare for shortage
- Top 5 at 5: CBC North
- Would bigger tax exemptions encourage you to shop across the border?
- What were your happiest years?
- Should charities lose their status for protesting?
- Community reaction to the Pierre Poutine revelations
- Top 5 at 5: Business stories
- Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey launch anti-bullying foundation
- Davy Jones honoured by fans on social media
- February photo contest: the winner!
- Women take the leap and propose marriage on Feb. 29
- Community reaction to closing of high Arctic lab
- Would you freeze-dry a deceased pet?
- U.S. storm watchers swap stories on social media
- Should Canada create an asbestos registry?
- January photo contest: the winner
- Top 5 at 5: Montreal stories
- Should Peru's uncontacted tribes be left alone?
- Is Ashton Kutcher right to block journalists from his Twitter feed?
- Would you wear Dress Pant Sweatpants in your workplace?
- Where do you donate your used clothing?
- Could a UN resolution help end Syria's unrest?
- Top 5 at 5: Politics stories
- Do you trust a camel that predicts Super Bowl winners?
- Community reaction to the Shafia trial verdict
- May (107)