This time was different because it happened at night. They had to evacuate around 10pm. the safest place was in the shelter. (Of course they stopped at McDonald's first to get something to drink. personally I would have gotten something stronger to drink! lol.)
Once I learned they were ok my thoughts turned toward my co-worker Tomomi. This kind, gentle talented woman is from Japan and has all her family there. When the earthquake hit Kobe years ago, I remember asking her if this was the area she was from. I remembered her saying "Oh no, we're from the Northeastern part of Japan. We live about 200-250 miles North of Tokyo." Needless to say when I heard where the epicenter was my heart sank. I knew she would have tried to contact her family so I decided to give her a call.
Sure enough she had just gotten off the phone with them. The communications are sporadic but she was able to find out that the quake was felt in their area. They have cracks in their walls however, the house in front of them had their roof partly collapse. Her mom had to get off the phone because they were having multiple strong after shocks. She also was able to contact her brother. He had just gotten out of work and was headed for the train! Once the quake hit train service ceased. It took him 2 hours to walk home. At least they are all safe which is somewhat comforting to Tomomi.
As if this world wasn't small enough, my daughter-in-law has a stepmother who is Japanese and moved back to Japan after Muirgheal's dad died. She takes care of her elderly parents but I wasn't sure which part of Japan she is from. Finally Muirgheal's sister Rachel was able to get a hold of Kobito and learned they were not affected by the quake at all. What a relief.
I will be spending Sunday with Tomomi so hopefully I can learn more about how her family is doing. In the meantime I will continue to pray for the people affected by this natural disaster.