Japan – My thoughts are with all of you.

For me, Japan is a special place, not simply because I’m a fan of anime, manga and games, but because I have experienced first hand the beauty of the land, the warmth of its people, and some of the wonders of its culture. I had the opportunity to visit the country in 1995, and returned to England from the last stop on my wander across the country, Kobe, a mere two weeks before The Great Hanshin Earthquake.

Watching the images from Japan, I wept for the people who had treated a total stranger with such kindness and generosity.

And I wept again today for Japan as I watched the the magnitude 9.0 earthquake (upgraded by the USGS), and the resultant tsunami rip through Sendai and Fukushima Prefecture in North East Japan.

The earthquake is the biggest ever recorded in Japan, the largest to occur in the region for 1200 years, and one of the greatest on record. The epicentre was a mere 6 miles below the surface, 78 miles off the East coast of Japan, and is estimated to have dislodged a patch of land 100 miles long and 50 miles wide. The resulting tsunami struck the coast around ten minutes after the quake reaching 10 km inland and sweeping away almost everything in its path.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. The following images are far more eloquent a testimony to the awesome power of this quake than anything I could write.

News services from around the world have continued to report on the quake, tsunami, and the numerous aftershocks which have followed this massive event. The following videos are from various news agencies, and highlight the power and scale of the disaster.

One of the things that I love about the Japanese people is how resilient they are, and how willing they are to help each other out in times of adversity. It’s a testament to their preparedness and ability to manage disasters that people knew what to do when the earthquake struck. Unfortunately, the epicentre was too close to the mainland for any viable evacuation of the low lying areas, and while people did get away or find places of safety, many did not. The tidal wave was too fast.

I’ll end this by showing some of the videos made by people in Japan during the earthquake. I hope you all join me in praying for those that have gone, and those that remain. Now is the time to care for the living, and if you are able, then I ask that you donate to whichever relief effort you prefer. The governements of at least 45 nations stand ready to send aid, but in these times of economic crisis they can’t do it alone.

And for those who believe that they shouldn’t waste their money on this disaster then shame on you. Human life is precious, and there’s no greater gift you can give a person than life.

Courtesy of Kirakirayuji

Courtesy of YoshiEatsWasabi
NOTE: Lots of swearing in this video

Courtesy of mossan0001

Once again nature proves that no matter how powerful we think we are, all our accomplishments can become nothing in an instant. Such is the fragility of human life.

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