11 March 2011

I had the TV on my desk tuned to the news last night as I sat there, ostensibly to answer email. I wanted information on the earthquake that hit Japan, but I never expected to see the horror that was unfolding. I could not have fathomed witnessing, as it happened, cars speeding down the road as people tried to outrun the water that was rushing toward them at speeds so fast that there was no way for them to win.

It was the most gut wrenching of disaster movie moments, but so real that I cut my email short and sat there trying to not cave in to the overwhelming want of crying for those people, and the churning in my stomach.

The TV on my desk is a little 20 inch flatscreen, which is about as big a picture as I wanted to get, but eventually I moved out into the living room, where I could--ironically--be comfortable while I watched the destruction slamming down on the Japanese people.

I didn't want to see it, but I think that was mostly because I didn't want to accept that something this horrific was actually happening. I also couldn't not watch; I caught myself more than once whispering words of hope for those people, and I had to watch.

Eventually I headed for bed, turned the TV on in the bedroom, thinking that I'd turn it off in a little while. I commented on Facebook that I didn't think I'd sleep, but truthfully I thought I would.

But then they started talking about Hawaii. The tsunami was not going to be limited to Asia.

And then there was mention of the U.S. West Coast; we're far enough inland that being slammed by a wall of water wasn't even a real possibility, but the Boy lives a hell of a lot closer to the coast. Near the water.

I worried.

When it went from a Tsunami Watch to a Tsunami Warning, I knew I wasn't sleeping. I stayed online, relying on Facebook and Kurtis Ming from Sacramento's channel 13 for updates and links (he was on all freaking night long with updates and information...I know I'm not the only one who appreciated that), and my friends for people to talk to. And I was glued to the TV; Sacramento's channel 3 ran news coverage all night, and while I surfed FB for channel 13's updates I watched channel 3, worrying a little bit about what all this would mean for the Boy.

He's old enough and intelligent enough to get his ass out when he needs to, but still...that's my kid. I was fully prepared to pick up the phone and call him if the news guys said that area of the county needed to evacuate.

I hate phones, that tells you something.

By then I was also very, very tired and not really thinking straight.

I watched until about 8:30 this morning, when I finally needed to cave into the need for sleep...yet I woke right at noon, just in time for the noon newscast.

In time to see images like this online:

The -- Reuters/Kyodo
The above image found at The Atlantic; there are 48 pictures there worth seeing. has 47 more (some are the same) that are kind of jaw dropping.

I suspect I'll sleep just fine tonight...and I really feel for those who won't.

I can't even imagine what they're going through...


Angel and Kirby said...

I was shocked when I got up this morning and turned on the news! I hope the boy was OK

Andrea said...

Me too. Got up this morning and was glued to the TV, crying for the people in Japan. Just unbelievable. I'm so glad it didn't hit anywhere else bad, it was bad enough as it was.

Anonymous said...

Just when you think it was winding down
we hear the reactores are not cooling
as they should.
The after pictures are spell binding.
The earth is falling apart.

kay lee

Cheysuli and gemini said...

We heard this morning too--waking to our tsunami watch and the alerts on the Oregon Coast. We had friends in Hawaii who are okay. The photos were beyond belief--amazing really but that almost makes them sound "good" and it is not a good thing. We saw a lot of those but shall go back to look again (and we were wondering at your FB where it said you were finally going to bed about the time we got online!)

karen n said...

In the 89 quake, there was a lot of destruction in our SF neighborhood (and our flat reeked of balsamic vinegar for weeks), but it's just an iota of what these poor people (and animals) are going thru. Sadness.

And they're gonna have monster aftershocks. Those were the worst for me. I'm actually calm during quakes, but when a good aftershock hits, the adrenaline pumps, and after a few months of it you think "enough already." It's hella-unnerving.

We live practically atop the Hayward fault, and with all the recent seismic activity, I'm starting to get concerned. In '89, seismologists predicted that the Hayward fault would have a major quake within the next 30 years. At that time, it seemed like forever.

At least we live on bedrock at the top of the hills.

kenju said...

I have been watching the news much more than usual. The images out of Japan are oddly riveting, while horrible. I cannot imagine having to go through that - or the aftermath - which is proving just as bad as the original quake and tsunami.

Journey to ATLANTA! said...

I put CNN on my computer in school so my 5th grade boys could see what was happening ...
It was a science/humanity lesson. We silently prayed for the people of Japan.