Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake, Tsunami, Radiation. What did Japan do to upset God?

First, let me say that I'm fine. The international press stated that Japan was devastated by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, but in reality, it is three prefectures in the northeast that have suffered incredible loss. Tokyo and the surrounding area experienced some damage and several fatalities, but life has more or less returned to normal here. Trains were stopped overnight, forcing commuters into long walks (mine was just 10 km), but are mostly running again. Restaurants and supermarkets are open where I live, although some people are panic shopping, buying all the instant noodles they can. Further south in Osaka or Fukuoka, there has been no impact that I've seen on TV. Of course, exploding nuclear power plants might change all that, but for now, things seem safe here at least. Rolling blackouts are anticipated from Monday as people return to work, making the demand for power exceed the limited supply but that is not much of a burden.

Up north though, it will take years to recover, but not from the earthquake directly. Instead, it was the tsunami that wreaked havoc, with some coastal towns being completely wiped out. It's very sad to see the death toll rising by the hour, and there are reports of 10,000 people missing from one town in Miyagi prefecture. It will be weeks until the total extent of damage is known and it is not going to be easy for anyone there. Please keep those people in your thoughts.

It has become a cliche to state that disaster puts the triviality of sports in perspective. Well, any tragedy puts the triviality of everything that is unnecessary into perspective. But we still want those unnecessary distractions to make us forget about the difficult world we live in. So although all major sports events in Japan were cancelled over the weekend, life will go on, the Japanese baseball season will be played, and I'll start complaining about it again. It's not clear how the Sendai sports teams will cope but Japan is a very resilient nation and a solution will be found.

In the meantime, I'll be pretty quiet here with nothing of interest to write about. The Cricket World Cup has been fascinating to follow (Canada even won a match!), and the NHL season is in the stretch run, so there's lots for me to do at home. I'm still hoping to take the trip to California next month, and will keep you posted on how that comes along. For now, stay safe everybody!



1 comment:

  1. Hi Sean - I was down in Phoenix when I heard of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I was worried about your safety but heard Tokyo was more or less okay. Just got home this evening and was very glad to read this post. My prayers to the folks in Sendai and northern Japan.