Wake me up before you Tsunami

Today there was a terrible earthquake just north of Tokyo and the subsequent tsunami has wreaked much havoc. First and foremost I hope that there is as little suffering as possible up there.

I was in a meeting in my office and could hear my computer going ping ping ping signaling mail arriving. The rhythm was such that I went over to see what was going on. They were mails from people all over the world kindly asking if I was OK. I felt OK but how do you know if you are dead or not?

I asked my colleagues, mainly Japanese, what was going on  and they shrugged their shoulders. We went out into a central lobby type place where 5 or 6 people were watching a TV. Horrendous pictures and film. People just went back to their desks and got on with it. No discussion.

I go back to my office and my email is full of questions. You guys knew about it before I did.

The university is on a hill and overlooks the sea. I run up the stairs to see if there is a wave coming in. I am alone. Everyone else is at their desks.

“Have you got family in Tokyo?”

” Yes”

“Are they OK ?”

” Oh I think so but I haven’t heard from them.”

I drive home along the coast road looking for trouble. The sea is millpondish.

It is now dark so I cannot sea the ocean from the balcony but it sounds flat.

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2 Responses to Wake me up before you Tsunami

  1. JoAnne says:

    Thanks, Neil. Your blog was one of the first places I looked last night to see if there was any inside news….Guess Okinawa is not so connected. (And right now, that’s a good thing!)

    Many of us here are very, very worried about our colleagues in Tohoku Univ. Lots of ILC people there who have not been heard from.

  2. Hi JoAnne,
    Okinawa has been mercifully spared. However things look very bad up North. I have tried to connect with people in KEK without success. I think their mail is down. Fingers crossed.

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