Last night, the biggest aftershock since March 11 surprised us around 11:30 pm. Our PCs were literally jumping on the table and then electricity was cut until the morning. Radio broadcasts told people close to the sea to find refuge in high places.
I had lunch with a friend who stayed in Sendai with his family. He told me a story about a friend of his sister-in-law that I want to share. On March 11 he was working on a construction site at the border between the prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima. During the earthquake, he had been thrown off the scafolding, and was left dangling by his security cable. Just after the earthquake, he and his colleagues gathered downstairs in front of the building. In front of them, they saw a wall of water coming towards them. Half of them ran for it but the others climbed back up to the top of the building.
Only those who climbed the building survived.
As there was no other form of transport available, the man walked back home (60 km) along Miyagi’s seashore: among the ruins he saw arms and legs poking out.
My friend, who has spent more time in Japan than me, explained to me that many Japanese living close to the sea are used to small tsunamis, and they have the reflex to find refuge on the 4th floor of buildings. That’s usually enough, but that day it wasn’t.
In the evening, I went to the church: I’ll help cleaning up the seashore on Tuesday.
I also got the answer from Paris 6: the statement about my PhD report is positive.
I still have the papers part to fulfill in order to get the French diploma.