Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Felt the Earth Move

This time next week I am due to be home in Melbourne with my unstretched canvas works which I will take to get stretched the following day.

Yesterday, my father turned 74.

Today, in Japan, there was an earthquake.

The Japan Meteorological Agency originally estimated the quake's magnitude at 7.1 but later revised it to 6.9...still pretty high in my opinion and the after shocks, of which there were about 100, were spread far and wide. We had one here. I had just got back from a morning supermarket run and was unloading the fresh produce into the fridge when my partner, who was still in bed, called out to stand still for a second. "Can you feel the tremor?" he asked. I was in a squat position at the fridge, (as everything in our place is of small proportion), and stopped what I was doing, expecting I would have to 'try' to feel this tremor he had mentioned. Within seconds, the fridge was rocking and seconds later the whole apartment block was rocking, literally! We were both silent for most of the tremor's duration, which seemed to last a good minute, although it was possibly half that. It's funny, the silence was almost one of those, 'if we are really quiet and don't move it will stop' silences... not that silence has ever stopped a quake.

When the tremor stopped we began breathing again and I walked into the bedroom, where we both watched the light that was still swinging over our heads.

It was quite surreal.

We turned the television on afterwards and saw footage from a very shaky camera. We could not understand what was being said as everything was in Japanese but we got the general gist from a map of Japan that was being displayed, along with the Richter scale numbers of all the aftershocks. It said 3 for Osaka.

In later news it was reported that a 52-year-old woman died in Wajima, a resort and fishing town on the western side of the Noto peninsula, after being trapped under a stone lantern that toppled in her garden. A freak occurrence caused by a freak of nature.

I can't even begin to imagine the devastation and panic caused by the Great Hanshin Earthquake disaster in Kobe, in 1995, which killed over 6,000. When I visited Kobe in 2005 it was hard to believe that only 10 years prior that city had suffered such a disaster.

The earth is a bizarre place.

1 comment:

sue beyer said...

wow! i am hopefully going to san francisco in August, I wonder if I will experience one there :-) I sort of hope not.