PEI

Japan's quake 'pure panic,' Islander says

A man from Prince Edward Island says he feared for his life after experiencing the biggest earthquake in Japanese history on Friday.

A man from Prince Edward Island says he feared for his life after experiencing the biggest earthquake in Japanese history on Friday.

Ron Kennedy, who has been teaching English in Tokyo for the past six years, said he was on an outdoor escalator in Tokyo when the earthquake shook the city.

"There was a skyscraper and … it looked like a pencil that you take and you wobble it in between your fingers. I was thinking two more seconds of that and I thought everything's coming down," said Kennedy.

"It was pure panic because I didn't know where to run. I was looking to where I should run. All around me were these tall buildings. So if they came down, they'd come down on top of me."

Kennedy said the earthquake and accompanying tsunami hit land about 150 kilometres from where he lives.

Joyce Kennedy, Ron's mother, wants Ron and his brother Jonathan, who also lives in Japan and works at the Canadian Embassy, to come home.

"Oh, Jonathan says he'd like to be home. But he's there working with the embassy. And he'll be there for another year. Ronald's more like, 'Oh, it'll be OK Mom. This will settle down now.' But now there's this other massive one. So that's bothering me," she said.

She is still worried about the potential for a second major earthquake.

Ron Kennedy said there are conflicting reports on the potential of a nuclear meltdown at a power plant.

He said the government says there's nothing to worry about, while some media reports suggest radiation exposure could reach harmful levels.

Kennedy isn't sure what to think.

"To tell you the truth, we don't really know. We've been hearing there's going to be a meltdown and it's going to be a hundred times bigger than Chernobyl. And then we have the government saying don't worry about it. You know, there's definitely a fear," said Kennedy.

Joyce Kennedy said she's also concerned about the potential health risks from a nuclear power plant damaged by the tsunami.

Ron Kennedy said the government is telling people to brace for another major earthquake perhaps as early as Wednesday.

He said that warning has meant food staples such as milk, bread and water are next to impossible to buy.

Joyce Kennedy said she's praying that both her sons remain safe over the next week.