March 11th, 2011

hugs

A quake, a quake

I think we got to Twitter last night about fifteen minutes after it happened (10:00pm, for my own reference). We had been away from the computer for a few hours, so we scrolled down quite a ways to read all the tweets we missed. As we were reading, though, I noticed at the top of the screen that the number of new tweets was growing at a very unusual rate, and I was a little eager to find out what everybody was tweeting about.

Finally we got to the tweets about the earthquake. Japan being Japan, it's actually not super uncommon to get the occasional, "Ah! Earthquake!" tweet, so we didn't think much of it at first. But as we kept reading, and people were tweeting, "We're still shaking!" we realized this one was big. Thankfully, the two people we know personally in Japan had already tweeted, indicating that they were alive. One of them was worried about his anime figures at home, and the other one ended up driving nine hours to get to his home, but was otherwise fine. (Though he did say (loosely translated) that the drive nearly killed him.)

Anyway, despite only knowing two people personally, we follow a lot of Japanese people, and it was really impressive to see all of their reactions. First they all tweeted that there was an earthquake, and then when they realized how big it was, they all tweeted to let everyone know they were okay. There were a lot of retweets of earthquake information and advice on how to deal with the aftermath. And most of all, they just seemed to be encouraging each other. I mean, reading all their tweets, yeah, the gigantic earthquake sounded really, really terrifying (because earthquakes are scary), but more than anything, it just felt like everyone was going to be okay. (That might have something to do with all the tweets of, "We're going to be okay!")

One thing we saw retweeted a couple of times was a comment about how all the gaijin were shocked to see footage of Japanese people dealing with the crisis. They were amazed about how no one was looting; they were calmly picking things up off the store floors and paying for them. The scary thing about that is if that's shocking, what happens when there's a crisis here? (That was a rhetorical question. We've already heard the looting theories, and we have some friends who are convinced they'll need guns for when the inevitable happens.)

The whole thing kind of reminds us of the Northridge quake in '94, because while we weren't affected by it (much; there was a crack in the wall, but that was the most we suffered), it was still close to home, and there was just a very surreal feeling afterwards, like everything was different, even though everything we could see was the same.

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Today I'm thankful for the great attitudes of all the people in Japan (one voice actor said he e-mailed a fellow voice actor asking if he was okay, and the response he got was, "Never better!"), our friends being safe, getting to work on our non-confidential project today, the yummy Cheez-its we had for snack time, and the nice organization of the scavenger hunt we had at Home Evening Group (new name for singles' ward Family Home Evening) last night.