Yesterday I was back at work after missing a few days earlier this week. I was back in Yachiyo city, Chiba, an area about 50 km away from the large earthquake that hit off the coast of Ibaraki. When I arrived in Yachiyo via train, the area was completely without electricity except for the train station.
|This photo was taken outside Yachiyo Chuo station, people pateintly wait to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers during the blackout Thursday March 17.|
I took these videos with my iPhone in an attempt to show many the actual atmosphere and conditions where I am in Japan. I apologize for the crudeness of these videos, and the audio may be difficult to hear. My appearance is quite haggard and my voice is not all that well from being sick, but I hope that it gives you a CLEAR idea of what it is like in Chiba at the moment.
The sky is clear and the sun is out but the temperature is still very cold about 36 degrees when I took this video, and the wind blows quite hard at times.
This one shows more clearly how vacant the area is and how the shops around the station are blacked out, according to schedule. Most of these shops opened in a few hours after taking these videos once power was restored. Some even operated in the dark for a short time as well!
Again the areas that were hit the hardest in Chiba are the coastal areas(which are almost inaccessible at the moment) , Yachiyo is inland and though it shook like crazy at the time of the earthquake all the buildings are in tact, although I have been told that older wooden homes in some areas have collapsed.
As I am able I hope to bring more real time, real life videos and photos from Japan. Thank you for your prayers and comments in such a difficult and uncertain time.