It's been a while since I last posted and to say that a lot has happened since then is sort of an understatement. For those who aren't aware, Evan and I returned home, home on Friday, the 18th. It was necessary for Scott to remain and work, but I know he's being taken care of and that he will be on his way out of there soon. Let me start from the beginning and try to explain some of the events that lead to early return.
On March 11th at about 2:45pm, there was a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sendai, Japan. This is about 270 miles north of Yokosuka where we were staying. That's about the distance from Tacoma to Cheney, WA, which is just outside of Spokane. So not super close, yet we felt the earthquake in our apartment. Evan and I were enjoying nap at the time. I woke up to the bed shaking some and couldn't quite figure it out at first, once I did, I thought that it would pass quickly and didn't feel that strong at first, so didn't really see a reason to wake up Evan and possibly freak him out. However, the shaking kept going and started to get stronger, so I got up and carried Evan to the doorway, fully expecting it to stop at any second. It didn't and Evan wanted to know what was going on and why the building was shaking. We had a whole conversation about it, while it was happening, while I contemplated moving us under the kitchen table. When it did stop, we had no damage, nothing even fell over and we had power the whole time. Scott, who was on a boat the whole time, didn't even really feel it.
Minutes after that, the coast that was hit by the earthquake, was then hit by a 33 ft. tsunami. As a result of these events a nuclear power plant had a meltdown because they weren't able to cool the nuclear reactors. The meltdown has recently been upgraded from a 4 to a 5 in severity on a scale of 7. Initially, we were not aware that the damage to the plant was going to affect us in such a major way. We were downwind of any of the radioactive material that may have been in the air, and also it seemed as though it was being downplayed. We spent the weekend out around town and even went to a movie.
On Tuesday the wind shifted and the navy began to be concerned. Scott and I discussed Evan and I leaving the island, but nothing was decided then. I was no longer worried about quitting, although, somehow it still felt like that. I was now worried about leaving Scott behind. It wasn't clear when or if he would be able to leave. On Wednesday I started packing, in the event that I needed to leave, even though it wasn't what I wanted to do. None of our plans were shared with family. It was still unclear if Evan and I would leave and where we would go if we did leave. That afternoon Scott was able to change our tickets so that we could fly out on Friday. I let everyone know we were coming back home and continued to pack like a fiend. In two days I managed to get all our stuff packed, with most of it in the suitcases we would be taking with us.
Our area was beginning to be hit by food shortages and there were threats of rolling blackouts to conserve energy, since they were down a plant. Many stores and restaurants were closed. On Thursday, we experienced our first blackout.
Friday morning we left. The airport was totally packed and the lines took forever to get through, luckily I arrived there shortly after ten for my 3:40 flight. In the end I only had about 2 hours to kill before we started boarding.
Were our family and friends somewhat in the dark about what was happening, yes. Part of that was that we didn't really know the severity of the disasters. Yes some of it was deliberate with holding, but it's hard to keep people calm when you are over 4,000 miles away. Besides, y'all would have freaked out regardless, did you really need to know all the details and make it worse on yourselves? We can try to put this all behind us now, and we will always have a personal connection to this disaster. Evan and I are home safe, and I have been told that Scott is out of Yokosuka. No idea where he is headed but I assume that it will be safer than where he was.
Not sure if I will continue posting or not. I haven't decided. If I do keep it up, it probably won't be as frequent, and not for a while, since I have the daunting task of getting my house back in order. Till then take care and I will leave you with a song.