Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hell and High Water

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Things are still quiet here, unusually so.  This is Sunday evening, and I suspect that tomorrow as everyone heads back to work we will all begin to feel some sense of normalcy.  Work does that to a person!

Yesterday's Stars and Stripes, our daily newspaper, looked almost like a tabloid.  The cover page was one large color photograph of carnage and burning houses in Japan with the caption "Hell and High Water."  Inside were several other photos similar to ones that have been circulating over the Internet - our other daily news source.  The newspaper contained a notice that U.S. forces in the Pacific are readying themselves to help with disaster relief in Japan.   The proximity of Okinawa to mainland Japan makes it almost a certainty that Kadena Air Base - where I work - will be a major player in the relief effort.

One statistic that I gleaned from yesterday's edition of the Stars and Stripes is that there are 86,000 service members and civilian defense employees  currently residing in Japan - many of whom have family members living here with them.

The newspaper coverage stated that there has been no significant damage to U.S. ships, aircraft, or facilities.  The U.S. Air Base at Misawa  lost electricity and telecommunications.  Some civilian flights were routed away from Narita Airport (which is just outside of Tokyo) due to damaged terminals, and those planes were re-directed to the U. S. Air Base at Yokota which is also near Tokyo.  (Narita is the terminal where people heading to Okinawa are most likely to land and clear customs before heading on south.)

Clearly the situation with the nuclear reactor is ominous, with some press reports stating that it is in the process of a meltdown.  This, just as the United States is trying to whip up public support for building more nuclear reactors!  Earthquakes can happen anywhere - even in the central United States.

For those old friends who remember Mineko, the exchange student who lived with our family thirty years ago, she is fine.  Mineko lives in the Tokyo area.  She was home alone when the earthquake hit, and said that items flew from her cupboards and smashed on the floor, but she and those close to her escaped the devastation unharmed.

I haven't heard anything about aftershocks today, so maybe the worst is over.  For the moment, calm prevails.  Please keep Japan and her wonderful people in your thoughts and prayers.

1 comment:

Phillipia said...

Thanks for the update, Rock. Keeping everyone living and visiting there in my prayers.