Spendenaufruf für Japan

Auch der Landkreis Harburg ruft auf zu Spenden [mehr]

Björn Henkel ehemaliger Schüler aus dem TG der BBS Winsen/Luhe hat das Erdbeben in Japan miterlebt und Japan nicht verlassen. Die Geschichte:


Björn Henkel  lebt mit seiner Familie seit sechs Jahren in Kawagoe  Kleinstadt, in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Saitama ist ca 50 Kilometer  von Tokio entfernt. Der 33 -Jährige hat das stärkste Beben miterlebt, das in Japan je gemessen wurde.

Bon's chaotic notes

What happened so far
So as many of my friends ask me how I've been and I don't like telling the same story over and over again, here's what happened so far:

March 11 (Fri):
As you all knew there was a big quake in the north of Japan at that time. I was in the office at Tokyo. When the quake hit I actually thought, that it was a direct hit on Tokyo and thus did not worry too much. Usually even if a quake is quite strong it is hardly recognizable in the part of Saitama where my wife and Kids are. I actually managed to post a note on facebook and I actually took a video wile the quake was on. I must say quake-wise I feel very safe in Tokyo.

So after the first quake we evacuated the office, which I must say happened in a very calm manner. At the evacuation point most people had no Keitai connection, which is not much of a surprise, because everybody tried to called home - what is exactly what you should NOT do, but people (that includes myself) are not very reasonable when they worry about their family.

While on the evacuation point we had another, but much smaller quake. Helicopters where circling around Tokyo like a swarm of flies. I have never seen so many helicopters at once. Some people had mobile TV on their phone (see previous entry) and when I saw the news about where the quake was I was quite concerned about my family, because then it was clear that the quake must also have hit Saitama. Then quite soon reports about huge tsunamis came in and the first pictures where really shokind.

But there was nothing I could do at that point, so after a while I went to check whether the trains are running again.  I got the information, that currently trains are stopped and the tracks would be checked and that maybe in 2 hours time the trains would run again. Since it also started to rain a little I decided to go back to the office and try my luck with Internet and phone there. So I climbed up the 15 floors again. Internet and phone where working in the office, but my wifes phone was not working (also Softbank) and my home phone number was not working because it had no power. (My wife told me later she switched the breaker switch off when she left, due to the risk of fire).

So I did what I can and send out E-Mails to my wife and parents, so that they do not worry about me.

At around 17:00 a co-worker, who happens to be also from Saitama, and I started walking throughwards   home. Before we left, we bought ourself a little bit to eat and drink (I went for Snickers, because it has quite a lot calories and is not heave and GreenTea, because it's good against thirst).

We where expecting that the trains would start working soon, but we wanted to escape the peak a little. There was quite a crowd on the street and the car traffic was totally jammed. We where much faster walking

We walked along the JR tracks, so we would notice when the trains started running, but nothing moved.

By the time we reached Ueno, I finally got a SMS from my wife, telling me she and the kids are fine and waiting in the car, as we discussed just a few days before.

It was quite surreal walking in an endless looking stream of people through the night to direction Saitama. In Nishi-Nippori we took a Dinner Break at a Ramen place. After a while I started to have Internet again (phone was still dead) so in my desperation I tried Skype and reached my wife.

At some point (I think it was Oji), we noticed that the Nanboku-sen was running. So we took a train out direction Saitama, in the hope that we would be able to catch a bus or taxi from Urawa-Misono. But unfortunately there was neither. So we decided to walk to Omiya. Many buses passed us empty, because it was end of normal operation time and apparently it was not much of an event to make an exception. After an endless walk and several stops at various convenient stores we finally made it to Omiya, where I could stay at my Co-Workers home. At that point I could not walk another kilometer. I think I went to bed at 2 o clock and slept like a rock until 7 o'clock. Only one mayor quake woke me up - because my wife called to ask if I am fine.

So this is getting a bit longer than I expected, so I'll take a break here and write the rest later.

March 12th (Sat)
Woke up at around 7:00 and after a bit of internet reading (first time I used an IPad for real btw.. not bad) I figured that maybe I could take a bus from Omiya to Kawagoe.

At the station I quickly checked whether the Kawagoe-sen would resume service soon, but the Eki-in said it might take a long time, so I went to search for the bus. Luckily there is a Bus to Kawagoe Green Park, which passes by Minami-Furuya, which is just one JR train stop from home, so not to far of a distance. So I took the bus and then walked from after where route 16 passes the Arakawa river to home.

I arrived home at around 10:00. Since I had to do my weekly weekend shopping I thought it's better to get done with it quickly, before it starts to get crowded, so I quickly took a bath and grabbed my car and bought the usual stuff. On my way back I refilled my car and noticed that gasoline stations are starting to get crowded, so I decided it would be best not to use the car unless emergency.  So I continued my shopping by Mamachari.

Besides that not much happened, we watched the news, called home etc. At that point I did not have any plan of leaving Kawagoe. Of course we where worried about the news from the various nuclear power plants, but it did not seem to be too bad.

March 13th (Sun)
Not much happening on Sunday. Just watching the news and some shopping. My kids where playing earthquake with their toy house made out of an old box. News came in about the planned power cuts from Monday and I began to wonder how I should ever make it to work. Everything was quite normal on Sunday.

March 14th (Mon)