About D+1, The Aftershock

Saturday, March 12 2011

I woke up by the sound of someone calling my name outside the door. It was Jamie, who came to checked on us (I love my friends!). We talked for a while and Jamie promised to be back and brought us some food but first, he wanted to go and checked Yoshiko’s parents condition.

The power was still out, there was no running water, and I still couldn’t contact Ria. Aftershocks kept coming, we still stopped whatever we were doing every time it happened, but we stopped counting how many aftershocks we had after the big quake. While making our breakfast, someone knocked on my door, and it was Ria! I almost cried with relief seeing her, and knowing that she and Zach was OK. Ria’s husband, Alan was still in the UK for business trip. It must have been hard for them to go through it without Alan and with Zachary’s broken arm (he got an accident while skating 2 weeks before the earthquake), but they were OK, and that’s all that matters.

Ria left to get some gas and we spent the day talking, writing journals, playing monopoly, and sending emails to our families back home. Jamie came back and stayed for a while, and we got visits from other friends too. Rylan came by bike, Laura, Kimberly and Yohei came, and we shared informations about our other friends’ conditions and whereabouts. It felt great to have friends around us, and knowing that we didn’t have to go through this alone. The conditions of the people on the coastal area made my hands shake, remembering how it happened, not so long ago, in Indonesia. How extremely lucky I am, to be in both countries when both disaster happened, but still, I survived uninjured, and wasn’t even directly affected by the disaster.

The afternoon came, and we lost the internet connection. I felt a bit isolated for not being able to talk to my loved ones, so I decided to distract myself by being busy. I checked my emergency backpack, and went to the first floor to get water. I filled the toilet tank with buckets of water so I could flush, and I never thought I would love the sound of the toilet flushing😛. I filled all the containers I had with water, and going back and forth from 5th to 1st floor made me feel better. I met my students who live in the same apartment building, and I was glad when I heard everybody was OK. I prepared the food and forced myself to eat even though I was not hungry at all. I walked around my apartment to check if everything was secured and put down all the breakables, to prevent them from falling if another big aftershock came.  I made sure the exit was cleared in case we had to run out, and make sure that the thick coats, shoes, and emergency backpack could be easily grabbed on the way out.

The evening came, and it started to get dark. We decided to prepare dinner, and while we were in the kitchen at around 7 PM, the refrigerator started to hum! The power was back! We screamed with joy and I called my loved ones right away and oh how happy I was to hear their voices!

And my phone started to ring. It was my friend Bayu, relaying a message from the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo. Apparently, they were trying to reach everybody in Iwate Miyagi and Fukushima and I happily told them that I was OK. Another call came through and it was my friend Hiroko. She cried when I said hello, telling me mine was the first voice she heard aside from hers and her husbands’ since the black Friday happened.

I went to bed that night with the heater on. I had not heard anything about the Fukushima nuclear reactor plant incident, but I knew the disaster was far from over with thousands of people were still missing and another thousands still at shelters with no power, food nor water.

It was the d+1, I survived another day, but with all the uncertainties hanging in the air.

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