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March 2011 Archives

March 14, 2011

Tokyo Situation - Earthquake

Northeast Japan has been hit with a big earthquake on 14:46pm, March 11.
Tokyo had a big shake as well, but the situation is not as bad as the Tohoku area.
Though most of the railway system had stopped on the 11th, public transportations is currently operating normally in Tokyo.

However, the goverment expects that there will be a 70% chance that we will have another earthquake of M7 class in next 3days, which we wil have to prepare for.

Also, due to the shortage of electricity across eastern Japan, there will be a scheduled outage of electrcity in the Kanto area. Railways will be running fewer trains to deal with this situation, so train schedules will be drastically changed. Keep aware.

TOKYO Railway Information- March 14

Due to the shortage of power, major railways will limit transportation.
Below are just a few of the train information. Please be aware of the latest information.

  • Odakyu : Between Shinjuku-Kyodo only all day. No trains westward of Kyodo.

  • Keio (Keio Line, Inogashira Line): 50% of usual operation. No trains westward of Chofu 9:00-13:30, and 18:00-22:00

  • Toyoko Line : 70% of usual operation. No express. No trains westward of Musashi Kosugi 12:00-17:00, no connection with the Hibiya-Line

  • DenenToshi-Line : 50% of usual operation. No experss. No trains 13:30-17:00 No trains westward of Azamino17:30-19:00

  • JR : All trains stopped all day excluding the following - Yamanote line, Chuo Kaisoku(Tokyo-Tachikawa), Keihin-Tohoko Line (Kamata-Akabane), Joban Kaisoku Line(Ueno-Matsudo), Joban Line (Ayase-Matsudo), Joetsu Shinkansen (Tokyo-Niigata), Nagano Shinkansen(Tokyo-Nagano)

Scheduled outage area search in English

March 15, 2011

TOKYO Railway Information- March 15

Due to the shortage of power, major railways will limit transportation in the Tokyo area.
Though trains are running compared to yesterday, pleas be aware they will be very crowded especially at commute times.
Below are just a few of the railway information as of 9:00am. Please check other sites for the latest information.

  • Odakyu : No Express running.No trains between Sagami-Ohno and Odawara. (at least till 11:30am)

  • Keio (Keio Line, Inogashira Line): 80% of usual operation. No trains westward of Chofu 17:30-22:00

  • Toyoko Line : 70% of usual operation. No express. Other Toky
  • o lines operating as usual.
  • DenenToshi-Line : 50% of usual operation. No experss.

  • JR : Most lines operating, but 50-70% of usual operation. Narita-Express is NOT in operation.

  • Eidan-Subway : Most lines operating, but 50-70% of usual operation. No direct connection

  • Keisei Skyliner( to Narita Airport) is NOT in operation.

March 28, 2011

Tokyo, and Japan...3rd week after the quake

The death toll as of this writing has exceeded 11000. It is expected to rise even more, as the aftermath becomes more and more open.

Though the living environement for the people in shelters are very very slowly becoming better, the speed is not enough at all. With the cold front refusing to move away from northeast Japan, people are freezing in cold shelters without heat, and some freezing to death. It is the most saddest to hear people suriviving the earthquake and tsunami, but not making it through the days of evacuation.
The police, fire departmant, self defense force, all medical teams work frantically at the sites to assist the victims, sometimes in worse conditions than the evacuees. They all share the same strong feeling to save the vicims, to save Tohoku, and save Japan. Nothing but respect.

The damage at the Fukushima Neuclear Plant is still far from relief. TEPCO is now saying that there is possible damage to the reactor pressure containers leading to leakage of water contaminated by high radiation. There is stil a long way to go until this neuclear crisiscan see an end.

Entering the third week after the quake, mental care is becoming more important. PTSD...Post Traumatic Stress Disodrer is occuring not just in direct victims of he quake/tsunami, but we now hear that all Japanese even outside of the quakke area constantly in contact with the media reporting devastation are subject to this stress. Added to the news are the continuous after tremors and alarms which come day and night. Even TV announcers and reporters face this mental illness. Mental care is deeply in need.

With this said, Tokyo and the rest of Japan continues normal life.
Trains operate on special timetables and suburbs face rolling power outages due to the power shortage. Night is quiet, and stores are mistaken to be closed because they turn off their signs and the lights inside are half turned off. Some meaningless panic here and there, with mineral water, cup-o-noodles, and rice being sold out here and there. Lines to get cars fueled up.
However, that's about it....everything else is...normal, system-wise at least.
The country is still mentally in deep shock, and it will take some time to get over it. Continuing normal life is the best way to cope with this, and I think it is the duty of Tokyo and the rest of Japan to do so.

Some reading :

Asahi Shinbun(newspaper) updates the earthquake news as frequently as possible on it's Facebook page :

Tokyo Railway Status - 3/29

Most lines running average 80% of normal operation, due to the power shortage. Trains run in a special timetable, so don't rely on the normal time schedule.
JR Narita Express is still not in operation. People heading from/to Narita Airport should take the limousine bus or the Keisei Skyliner.

The Tohoku SHinkansen will take until the end of April to resume operation, as it has taken damage to it's rails by the earthquake.

March 29, 2011

Spring Brings Hope of New Beginnings

Two and a half weeks have passed since the devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in northeast Honshu, the main island of Japan. As I follow the news here in Oregon on Japanese TV, it's been heart-wrenching to see the faces and hear the voices of thousands who've lost their families and homes - including those who've had to abandon their homes near the nuclear power plant in Fukushima.

On the day of the quake, some of my friends in Tokyo said they had to walk 18 kilometers home because train service was disrupted. Thankfully, my brother who lives in Tokyo was safe -- he emailed our family right after the earthquake. Most worrisome is the ongoing nuclear power plant crisis, and hundreds of aftershocks that continue to rattle the region. Today there was a 6.0 'aftershock' and another tsunami warning, which was later withdrawn.

What is hard to grasp from our side of the Pacific (the West coast of the U.S.) is the vastness of the devastation: 400 miles of coastline was hit by the earthquake and tsunami - about the distance from San Francisco to L.A. The Tohoku, or 'northeast' region north of Tokyo is largely rural with fishing and farming villages along a narrow strip of land backed by mountains. Almost 1 out of 3 residents are over age 65, because young people head for the cities as soon as they finish school, for jobs and further education.

Currently more than 200,000 people are displaced in 2,200 evacuation centers - many of which are local elementary and junior high schools. Schools in Japan are typically 3 to 4-story ferro-concrete structures and are usually the tallest buildings in rural areas, so are designated as the place to flee to in case of a disaster.

Because of the total destruction of bridges, roads, power, water and gas lines, many centers still lack electricity, running water, adequate food, heat and gasoline. For people accustomed to nightly hot baths, the lack of clean clothes and bathing facilities is also hard to endure. Many of the elderly need medical attention, but don't have access to doctors.

On the bright side, displaced people and volunteers are organizing to distribute food, blankets and other necessities as relief arrives. As I learned from going to school in Japan, children from kindergarten on up are taught to work together in teams and look out for the welfare of others. Gaman - ability to endure or delay gratification, Gambaru - doing your best, not giving up, and Kyooryoku - cooperating with others, are values reinforced in school and society.

March is the end of the school year and graduation season in Japan. Since many schools in the affected region are filled with displaced people, graduation ceremonies have been canceled or delayed. But some schools held ceremonies with the evacuees joining the teachers in sending off the graduates.

April 1 represents new beginnings in Japan - the new school year, as well as the new fiscal year for government and business. It is also when the much-anticipated sakura or cherry blossoms open, beautiful and fleeting. It will take months and years of work to rebuild lost homes and lives, but I pray that spring will bring hope to many people.

If you live in the U.S. and would like to contribute financially, Japan America Society of Southern California is accepting donations for the 2011 Japan Relief Fund

--Ruthy Kanagy
Eugene, Oregon

About March 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Cycle Tokyo ! Weblog in March 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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