Earthquake off Japan

As soon as we arrived home today we saw ABC television transmitting a live stream of news from Japan on the huge earthquake off the northern coast. The names of towns and provinces in Tohoku that they mentioned were all too familiar as they were part of our plans for the first half of our trip. The tsunami washing into Kamaishi port. Who would know of Kamaishi port normally? But I had been trying to include a railway line through there in our trip.

Now who knows which lines will be running, which hotels and museums open? And what does it matter anyway, except for those who depend on them for their livelihoods? For there are many, many people who must have lost their lives, possessions or been affected in some other way by this dreadful event and my heart goes out to them.

Just the other day, frightened a little by the devastation in Christchurch, I had been reading about recent earthquakes in Japan. We were in Takayama in July 2008 when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Iwate province in northern Japan.

It’s scary, but so is driving on Sydney’s roads.

We’ve never explored the Tohoku area, or further north up to Hokkaido. Perhaps there is enough damage (and the risk of aftershocks) that we must again delay such a visit and return to the southern parts of the country. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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