Before the Earthquake



It was a regular Friday of March, it was the 11th, it was 2:45pm, when the Tohoku Earthquake hit. People were at work, children were at school. The delivery man was making his daily rounds, train were going in clockwork exactitude, public buses were transporting people back home from a hard day's work in the morning shift. Lunch had already passed, and most people were making plans on how to spend that weekend. Airports were as crowded as always, a couple of flights were delayed. Senior citizens sat on their chairs resting watching the view of the coast.

Then, just a minute later, it hit.

A powerful quake was felt all over Japan. Normally the Japanese are somewhat use to major quakes, but this time, the earth rocked heavier and it lasted for six eternal-like minutes. The electricity went down, some towns lost all communication, phone lines were down. Just thirty minutes afterwards two big quakes of slightly lower intensity were also felt.

The Destruction became evident just minutes after. A lot of people were in panic, trying to make desperate contact with their family members. Remember, it was a weekday, people were at work, children were at school. Most Japanese citizens followed the Earthquake prevention guidelines they have been taught for decades in preparation in a major earthquake ever hit them, but this one felt unlike nothing they had ever experienced. News reports originally reported it as a 7,9 magnitude earthquake, but that number quickly upgraded to 8.8, then 8.9 and then, finally to 9.0. One of the five most powerful earthquakes ever registered.

Emergency procedures were called, and the authorities raced rapidly to assess the situation at hand, get the proper information, but, as time went by and with the imminent coming of the tsunami waves, there was no way of knowing what was about to occur.

The Tohoku Earthquake is now a sad memory in the pages of humanity, but it left behind several lessons that we must take near and really make an effort to comprehend in order to be ready, just in case in the future, in the blink of an eye, it could happen again.

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