Kesennuma 22 November 2016

Early earthquake warning at 6.02am: my phone screams ‘Jishin desu – Jishin Desu’

While I sit puzzled wondering if this is a test – the earth starts shaking. Considerably, but minor in my experience. I check on the students, a few are panicked and running outside. Mr. Kato – Hotel Boyo President – is reassuring our safety.

Cars start pulling up to the hillside hotel.

Sirens howling, the first Tsunami alarm since 3/2011.

The 7.3M earthquake and aftershocks trigger a stream of messages: “Tsunami relocate to higher ground immediately”. All messages are in Japanese only, non-Japanese speakers (RMIT group) are confused.

NHK TV reports – bilingual information.

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Message by my friend telling me about Fukushima – I chose not to tell students. Luckily this is resolved half an hour later.

We leave Kesennuma – Residents remain observing the situation in the bay.

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