I'm here. Was on a plane to Kyoto when it happened, which was still pretty far south of the action. I was wondering about all the crowds of people standing in front of the shinkansen terminal staring at the TV, but didn't find out till Sat. afternoon what happened as I had one day to sightsee. I returned to my hotel to a dozen emails saying pretty much 'OMG, are u ok?' then I found out what happened up north.
Okinawa is also okay. We're about 600km from the action.
Damn sorry about Sendai though, it was my favorite area to visit, was planning on returning this summer -oh well. And matsushima, one of the 3 most scenic areas in Japan was hit pretty bad. I can't find out anything more besides a pic of the train in a tangled muddy heap.
Before I came, I requested a placement in Miyagi ken. This was the first time I was glad I didn't get it!
It's interesting to think that before what has happened to Japan, the worst disaster in the news was the earthquake in New Zealand. I've heard that the city of Christchurch was so badly devastated that it may never exist as a city again.
The earthquake in Japan was devastating enough, but the tsunami is what has made it even more devastating.
While we're praying for Japan, we shouldn't forget New Zealand.
When I saw the first reports of hundreds dead, I knew reporters were vastly underestimating the devastation a 9.0 earthquake would cause beside Japan. Fires and a tsunami were inevitable. The issues with nuclear power plants, however, are harder to understand. And the emotional effects on people...that goes beyond my imagination.