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I just wanted to post some things I saw during the quake. I was near Asakusa station in Tokyo waiting for my son. We were going to visit Nikko for the weekend. I was in a building on the first floor. After I felt the quake , I exited the building and waited in the middle of the street with others. Being from California, we are told to stay put or get under a desk or doorway during a quake. In Japan, it seems like everybody wants to be outside during a quake. Right or wrong, thats what I did. The quake lasted for so long and people were screaming. The buildings were swaying and the ground was moving in a rolling motion. So many sounds. I think there will be a lot of structural damage to the buildings that they will find out about later. After the quake, I looked for a payphone to call my son and I luckily ran into him on the street.
We went to Asakusa station to inquire about our train, when a big aftershock hit. They directed people out of the station and we waited in the street again. They closed Asakusa station after that and I had to be escorted in to get my luggage from the day lockers.
The electricity remained on but the cell phones didnt work. We took a bus from Asakusa to Ikebukuro. There was so much traffic that the bus didn't go too far. We exited and walked the rest of our way to Ikebukuro. So many people were stranded. The metro stations and train stations were crowded with people sleeping on the floor. The funny thing is there was garbage all over the floor, a strange sight to see in Japan. We spent most of the night at 24 hour cafes. Part of the night we rode the metro lines that were up. They had some running throughout the night. My son lives on the outskirts of Tokyo and his line didn't open until 5 am.
I felt bad for many elderly people that I saw stranded. Later I heard there were places for people to go, but that information was not reaching the majority of the people. At Haneda, I met a lot of interesting people that were leaving the country. A lot of European companies are having their people leave. I did not see too many Japanese or Americans too concerned about radition coming to Tokyo, but the European really were.
I really was impressed at how regular people handled the earthquake there. I thought there could of been more information given out at metro and train stations to elderly or handicapped people on where to go during a chilly night. The majority people took the earthquake well and just walked home or spent the night out in cafes.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: SEE ALSO THIS WRITER'S RECENT POST, TIPS FOR TOKYO]