A brief explanation of the title, Sepiated Spirals - スト-カ-...

    We carry notebooks everywhere in our college lives, with often a different one for each class, so the simple act of writing down our thoughts at the turn of a fresh page is always available.

    Altogether, biology, English, math, come together into a myriad of experiences and ideas throughout the day.

    Old ideas combine with new, and we learn from our sepia-toned past.

    The background image is a sepia-tone shot of interlinked spiral notebooks - the eiptome of Sepiated Spirals.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sendai Japan earthquake, 2011

I just wanna throw this down today before I forget.

I signed up for preliminary earthquake notifications through USGS about a year ago. Every earthquake around a 6.0M, even miles underground, gets its own notification text. The theory is this: a cell phone's signal will travel faster than an earthquake wave, so you'll at least have a bit of a warning when a big quake hits.

Occasionally a Japanese fault sends out a minor quake deep in the ocean, but in the last few days there were more Japan quakes than usual -- a good five ranging from Mw 6.0 to M 7.2 before the big quake.

I should have paid more attention to the magnitude of the next, and of the update text that bumped it up to M 8.8. For the rest of the night I got text after text.
          "(Mb 7.1) OFF EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN"
                       On and on....

Through it all I was thinking, "Man, Japan is gonna explode or something!" so it surprised me when my mom came into my room around 5:00 am and read a text to me that my dad had sent.
          "an 8.9 earthquake just hit Tokyo mass destruction, [t]sunami also hit..."

Ya know what's funny? I wanted to wake up early this morning. I tried to go back to sleep when my mom closed the door, but I was practically in shock. I don't know why it hit me so hard. It was probably from the fact I had received over 20 texts about earthquakes in the same "...EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN..." region.

Along with that, I felt like I was in the middle of it all. I felt (though I was in a just-woke-up stupor) that with all the texts I got I could have done something with warning. I wanted everyone in Japan to have gotten the same texts, so they would have known about what was coming. It was devastating and I felt it. I wanted to be there to help.

From 5:30 to near-10:00 I watched unreal news broadcasts, in the back of my mind always hoping it was just a dream spawned from the "mild" seismic activity the night texts signified. I wanted to wake up, but still haven't. Can't I just go help?

It was better to hear that it was the 6th or so preliminary message that was from the actual M8.9 quake, meaning that the rest were underwater/subterranean aftershocks. The few texts before could have given notification, but not enough to save the potential 1000+ deaths and injuries. It really was a tragic accident.
For one, people did make it out safely with barely only 5-10 minutes' tsunami warning. It's good Japan was more ready for it than not.

The thing is, how unified to the rest of the world--especially Japan and the US regions in the tsunami warning--do you feel today? Don't you feel for the people affected in watching this amazing coverage? It's a lot like Haiti, Katrina and New Orleans, the Gulf oil spill, the 2004 Sumatra tsunami, and 9/11, among other natural and civil disasters. The world is taking a look at huge, freak destruction and offering aid. Apart from pure devastation, what's different so suddenly? Why the sudden urge to replace competition with selfless giving?

And the real question: why can't the countries that are helping always have that mentality? The truth is, the world will forget. In barely a month, most Americans will probably go on with their lives and trudge back to the mundane "normalcy". That shouldn't happen. It will.

I hope the best for Japan's recovery.

If you know someone in Japan, hopefully this can help you know if they're safe, or give that info yourself.

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