Saturday, March 12, 2011

Osaka is a long way from the earthquake and tsunami - we are fine.

Photo borrowed from

Even though the epicenter was far away from us here in Osaka I could feel the big quake at 2:46 PM local time and several aftershocks. It was the biggest quake I have ever felt and it seemed to last forever. I spent the next few hours watching the effects (like the picture above of the tsunami spreading across Sendai) on Japanese TV and CNN. My university is confirming that our students are OK. They have urged all students to inform their parents/friends/home universities that they are safe. The internet, e-mail and Facebook seem to be the best way to communicate out of Japan. I have heard that land lines and cell phones are swamped and jammed in the Tokyo area. Here we seem to have problems sending keitai mail (text messages). Despite this disaster - and the effects to come - most people I know in the Kansai area are doing business as usual. At least for now.

Link to stunning earthquake/tsunami photos at

UPDATE: This post is not meant to downplay the devastating earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan at all. The immediate effects seem not to have hit the Kansai area yet. People are working and doing the things they need to do everyday. (I am having a hard time pulling myself away from the news and concentrating on reading blogs and preparing for next week's classes.) Still we mourn the dead, worry about the fate of missing friends and loved ones in northern Japan, and are concerned about the possibility of radiation exposure in Fukushima and resulting power outages and shortages all over Japan. Here are a couple of links to access the latest news and warnings.

Kyodo News (in English; check out the photos as well):

Japan Meteorological Agency:

We in Osaka are not isolated from the events in northern Japan (and who is?) but are safe.


Sarah said...

Thanks Fed,

I've been worrying about those in Hirakata- hope you guys stay safe :)

Katherine said...

Hi Sarah, I'm glad you're ok. I've been searching the web for news around the Osaka area and I found your blog. My family and I are scheduled to go there this thurs, we are going on a vacation in the Kansai region. I don't mean to be dense about the situation, but do you think is it ok to still push thru with our vacation there? Thank you -kathy

visual gonthros said...

This is a good question. I think if you limit yourself to Osaka, the Kansai and other parts that are not directly effected by the quake, tsunami and nuclear problems, it would be OK. But stay away from Sendai and other hard hit areas. Tourists would be a burden to the relief effort and people trying to resume their lives. We are advising out students to not go to Tokyo as well for the same reasons.

This is a tough time for Japan and perhaps not the best time/place for a real vacation.

Katherine said...

Thank you for your reply, be safe.....

Anonymous said...

I'm glad everyone in Osaka are ok my husband travels to Osaka nad have friends there.