|Train Stations that are open are on limited service. 3/15|
|Closed Train Station. 3/15|
|Shell gas station closed. Gas shortage.|
Its been 5 days since the earthquake and we've been feeling some effects from the disaster. Here is a local update:
There have been scheduled blackouts since yesterday. We are grouped according to where we live. Today our blackout was from 1520-1820. Citizens have also been requested to minimize their use of electricity (and gas) during the non-blackout period. The Power Plants damaged in the earthquake produced a lot of energy for Japan. If everyone does their part to reduce energy usage, then the plants will have time to cool down. We've been scaling back on our heat and using our lights considerably less.
Limited Train Service
Certain trains are still not running on a their regular schedules in our area. Yesterday (3/14) , there were so many Japanese walking, who normally ride the train. We had heard that the trains were running, but when I went by one of the stations, it was already closed for the day. It made for an interesting bicycle commute from town to home since the Japanese got off work 2 hours early. I ride through 5-6 tunnels in the pedestrian walkway. I must of said "gomenasai" or "sorry" a zillion times. Luckily the trains are running a little more regular today. I have noticed that the local Japan Railway (or JR Line) station close to the base has been closed for the last two days.
P.S. Since writing this portion last night, I can tell today that the Keikyu Line trains are running on a regular (or close to it) schedule. This is a good sign!
There has been a gas shortage since the earthquake. On base you could only get 10 gallons of gas over the weekend. They are completely out today, but expect a delivery tomorrow. In town I have seen gas stations closed, or open with a lineup of cars 1/2 mile long. Its been advised to not drive at this time.
I know that the media has been focusing on the potential radiation risks from the Power Plant in Fukushima. People have been evacuated that live close to the plant, but we are quite a distance away (5 hours or so) from that area. For precautionary measures it was advised for us to stay indoors yesterday (the kids had to stay indoors for the afternoon portion of their school day), but I have not heard an update today. I have faith in the professionals who are closely monitoring this situation.
There continues to be numerous aftershocks since Friday. I was just saying last night how I hadn't felt any yesterday...knock on wood. Well, last night when most of us were sleeping, our cell phone earthquake alarms went off at 10:26p.m. I woke to the glass shaking, and to some rumbling. Justin could feel the ground under him on the main floor moving for awhile after the aftershock. I've read that aftershocks are common after such a large earthquake. We're ready for them to stop.
Ways We Are Helping
There are have been many ways to help with this cause. The Red Cross has been taking food, clothing, hygiene and cash donations on base. The Spouses Club I belong to has also started a winter clothes and personal care (including diapers) drive for the victims. The club's organizer has put the word out so that anyone who wants to come sort and pack boxes over the next week is welcome to help.
Thanks again for all the well wishes and concern. We have people round-the-clock looking out for our safely.