With nearly 15,000 people dead and about 3,000 more missing – The Great Tohoku Earthquake of Japan is surely one of the deadliest natural disasters to have hit us in the modern times. Nobody ever thought that on March 11, 2011 at 14:46 JST (local time), a magnitude 9.0 earthquake will occur near the coastline of Miyagi prefecture. It was so strong that it shifted the Earth’s axis by 25 centimeters! The ground-shaking lasted for a staggering 5 minutes before it came to a halt. Moments later, warnings of tsunami (some reached heights of about 40 meters!) was spread out all over Japan – but the worst is yet to come.
One year has passed, and it still leaves about 340,000 people homeless, not only because of the damage caused by the violent tremors, thousands of aftershocks, and massive tsunami, but also the increasing fears and tension over the fallout at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Living within 20km of the power plant is still not allowed and traces of radioactive materials can be traced out as far as 50 km off the plant – and this has impacted Japan’s economy in unbelievable depths.
Some say it would take at least 10 years to fully recover from this catastrophe – and this is considering that not a single earthquake of this strength will ever hit again near this recovering nation.
If I was there in the unfortunate moment, witnessing before my very eyes all the events unfolding, I’m not sure if I have recovered well enough to move forward without looking back time and time again. This IS the definition of life-changing events. It is no secret that I am following the recovery path Japan is taking, and even if they are, at the moment, doing an inspirational comeback from this, it would take all their efforts, prayers, and hope.
This will also serve as my inspiration as I try and attempt to win in my 4th attempt at Nanowrimo. This is for all of you.
P.S. Visit this site to view images at the anniversary.