Japan, I quite liked the place when we visiited last year.We have known V for a long time. She is a personal friend who was born and bred in Melbourne. Oddly, I instinctively knew she was in a safe area. I doubt she did.
Well after a rather interesting 24 hours I can happily report that I'm alive and well. Power was out at my place between 4pm yesterday and around 7am today. Phones were intermittant and I didn't get internet access until recently. Others didn't get power back until much later. Some people didn't have water. As you can imagine it's been a tad chaotic.
Last night was horrible. Without power, I had no heating and of course, it started snowing just before the quake hit yesterday. Getting home last night was quite the drama - with no traffic lights, heavy snow and everyone trying to get home at the same time, the roads were crazy. Once home, it was very cold and dark. It wasn't the most pleasant of experiences sitting in the dark, riding tremors and hoping like crazy my building wouldn't fall around my ears. Still, I managed to get a few hours sleep.
I ventured out this afternoon. Thankfully it stopped had snowing. I didn't see any signs of structural damage. Many shops and businesses were closed. Ito Yokado (a big department store) had opened in the morning but closed around midday. Another supermarket - Universe - was open but only allowed 10 or so people in at a time because they had no power. Selected boxes of food were put out in a designated area for us to choose from. People were panic buying food and petrol - the few petrol stations that were open had long lines of cars waiting to get in.
It's currently 10pm Saturday night here. I have all utilities but am not sure they will remain on. We're still getting tremors. I'll update you again in the morning if I can. But all is well for the moment.