Waking Up To Tragic News…

… can only mean we need some inspirational David music today:

My prayers go out to the people of Japan and other affected areas in the wake of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami.

Posted on March 11, 2011, in current events. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Devastating situation in Japan. Worries for the West Coast. David’s voice and message offer a soothing bit of comfort. Thanks for this!

  2. I recieved this message this morning from a friend here in GA. I thought some of you might be interested. ‘For those who haven’t heard, Japan has suffered an 8.9 earthquake (That’s a biggie!!!) off the coast of Sendai, Japan. Epicenter probably about 60 miles from our son, Bill. We have heard indirectly from Bill in Japan. They felt it “big time!” They have lost power and their house has sustained structural damage. but no one is hurt. Will let everyone know more as we learn more. They are far enough inland that there is no concern about Tsunami”.

  3. When bad things happen, if I’m upset, sad or angry, I practically RUN to David for his soothing music. It’s like a healing balm for me. Just the sound of his voice. It always elicits a big sigh of relief. Instantly. Those distressing emotions lose their power over me, and I can begin to deal with what it is bothers me.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Japan and elsewhere who are suffering from the effects of this tragedy.

  4. More update from my friend. “repetitious as there is little news coming in. Bill and his family survived the quake with no injuries. Their home suffered “some” damage. They have no electricity. Telephone service is “spotty.” Water is running. They have fuel for heating and cooking.
    Bill spent much of the day at a local radio station giving English Language bulletins and advisories. We are not certain whether the station has line power or an emergency generator.
    Ongoing concerns are for continuing aftershocks and a nearby nuclear power plant whose cooling system has failed and whose core is in some danger of a meltdown. Several thousand in the immediate vicinity have been evacuated and others are on standby in case the engineers lose all control. I believe (but am not certain) that Bill is upwind of the affected plant so that even a worst-case release of radiation would be blown away from him.
    Members of the LDS Church will be interested in knowing that Sendai is Mission Headquarters for the Church in Bill’s neck of the woods. Sendai is on the coast and has suffered extensive damage from the quake and more from the tsunami. I have not heard a report on the safety of the missionaries or mission HQ. The military reports that all U.S. military personnel have been located and are safe.
    I have included an updated map showing the relationship between Tokyo, Sendai, Mizusawa-Oshu (Bill’s home town), the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, and the epicenter of the quake.

  5. Thanks for the update Suzy Q Will keep all of them in my prayers. Glad Bill and family are somewhat safe.

  6. More news 3/13/11
    Dear Ones,
    OK. here is the latest. First check the updated map. It corrects the location of the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor site, placing it much further south and much further away from Bill. I have verified prevailing and current winds, and both are from the WSW. This will allow any radiation release to be away from Bill and his family.
    Initial inspection of his home shows the only damage to his house came from their vehicle being shifted and bowing out the garage door.
    Electricity and telephone service has been restored, although they have been advised to expect rolling blackouts, and requested to conserve both electricity and water. With electricity restored, Bill expects most stores will be open Monday, albeit with limited supplies. Local trains should operate shortly. The express trains and Bullet Train will take a while longer. All-in-all, Bill seems optimistic for a gradual return to normalcy.
    No tsunami damage to Mizusawa, Oshu, and Bill tells us that there are two mountain ranges between him and the coast. With an 8.9 earthquake, a 33 foot tsunami was generated. It would take a 1500 to 2000 foot tsunami to get to him.
    Amazing facts: The National Geological Survey says that the entire island of Honshu (the main island and the one on which Bill lives) was shifted about eight feet to the west!!! The rotation of the earth was slowed down and our orbit about the sun was shifted outward a tiny bit, thus both our day and our year are microscopically longer.
    The radio station has been on emergency generator and Bill continues to make English language bulletins and announcements.
    Some have asked if we still plan on our trip to Japan later this spring. If the picture is nearly as rosy as Bill sees it, probably yes. If as dire as the media is painting it, probably no. I would give about 80% right now. (I’ve worked with the media, and don’t trust them a bit!)

    By the way, all Mormon Missionaries are accounted for and are safe and unharmed.

  7. Thanks Suzy-Q. Glad Bill,family and Missionaries are ok. Prayers continue.

  8. More news: “We very much appreciate the good wishes and prayers offered in Bill and his family’s behalf. To those who have asked if there is anything you can do, the answer is a grateful no. They are isolated to the point that Shuko’s father, who is in Tokyo, and much closer than are we, cannot get anything shipped to them. The expressways are closed to all except emergency vehicles. Whether this is due to actual damage or to executive decisions by faceless bureaucrats is not known. In any event, the freight companies are not delivering goods to homes or even to businesses and stores at this point.
    Shortages exist throughout Japan. Fox News has shown pictures of bare shelves even in Tokyo. In Tokyo, this is partially due to after-disaster hoarding, but in Mizusawa, Oshu, it is due to non-delivery of goods. Curiously, locally grown fresh produce is available. It is staple items such as bread, milk, eggs, and flour that are in short supply.
    Of interest, booze, beer, wine (and of course, Saki) are available in abundance. Bill is not sure what to make of this. If it is because the people have prioritized their expenditures in the face of disaster, he is pleased. If it is because the alcohol industry has special privileges for shipping, he is outraged.
    Lessons to be learned: Have at least a minimal supply of goods available, perhaps a three day supply of food and water, a flashlight, a transistor or crank-up radio, pocket first aid kit, and perhaps dust masks, ready to roll on five minutes notice. These items were almost non-existent after the fact. See http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/ for more info. In the house, since you could be advised to shelter in your home, keep at least a three week supply. Bill felt terribly isolated as communications failed with the loss of power.
    As you can tell, there is not much in the way of hard news, and so, will close for now.”

  9. March 16, 2011 ” The picture is of the bullet train tracks in Sendai Station. Sendai Station is seven miles inland and suffered quake damage but not tsunami damage. Although it looks bad, it appears to me that most of the damage is cosmetic and superficial. I am hopeful that train service can be restored at least as far north as Sendai in fairly short order. Getting the freight trains running will go a long way toward getting supplies to those affected.”
    There follows the latest from Bill IV.

    “Good news update.
    We finally got in touch with the company in charge of managing the rental for our house. After calling, a guy came within 10 minutes or so. He did a little work, made a phone call, and within 5 minutes or so a couple of other guys with real tools came, and within another 10 minutes or so, the garage door was fixed. For the moment at least. There may be some future repercussions, and I let them know, as well as the management company for the rental property, that depending on circumstances, we may call again, but for the moment, the minor damage to our home has been repaired. That’s one thing. Now we need the powers that be to allow makers and delivery companies to use the expressways to get the items we need to where we need them.
    A little bit of other good news. I went to the grocery store yesterday and cleaned them out of pasta. I went again today, not really expecting
    anything, but they had spaghetti (not just anonymous pasta) and while I was there they pulled out some pork. As can be imagined, people gathered
    around. I picked up two packs, and the rest disappeared almost as quickly. (Thank goodness I’m neither Muslim nor Jewish.) I also picked up some
    potatoes (unfortunately, no carrots), curry, and at another (convenience) store bottled water, extremely surprising, I thought. Items are coming in,
    but at extremely random intervals. In Japanese we say, HAYAI MONO WA KACHI, which basically means, Being in the Right Place at the Right Time, or First come, First served. Based on this, I think I’ve learned that we need to go to the grocery store, or rather make the rounds of close-by grocery stores, whenever we can, perhaps even two or three times a day, and hope that something good has come in. Luckily, we live fairly close to several small- and medium-sized grocery stores, so hopefully, between them, we can keep things going. For the past couple of days I walked, but today I used Jeff’s bicycle, and if I continue to use that, I can save time on rounds, not to mention conserve gasoline. More good news. I haven’t really seen any signs of price gouging. Prices seem to be stable, so far. Of course, that may change, but as of now, prices don’t seem to have increased all that much. There’s just a lack of items coming in. Furthermore, I haven’t seen any cases of looting or rioting or clamoring for products. People just seem to be looking for what they’re looking for, purchasing what they can, and standing in long lines to make such purchases, with little or no (open) complaint.
    Still no new word on the bullet train. But to tell the truth, except for the fact that means we probably won’t be able to meet family in April as planned, I’m not so worried about that, because the bullet train is almost exclusively used to transport people. Right now, I’m much more concerned about the transport of consumer goods, whether by regular rail or truck, starting with gasoline, so that other consumer goods can be transported.
    As I wrote earlier, a worker at one of the grocery stores I go to said that there are items out there, it’s just a matter of getting them distributed.
    Yes, I’m optimistic for now. Let’s hope things keep going up.”

  10. Quick update. Shuko and the girls went shopping today. They
    went to a store that has a bigger network of distributors, so they had much
    more than the closest supermarket to us. They were able to get a lot of
    stuff, including eggs for the first time since the earthquake. They also
    were able to get some milk, which I don’t think was the first time, but it
    hasn’t been very reliable, so it’s good she could get some. They also went
    to a bakery and were able to buy quite a lot of bread items, though not
    sliced bread. However, we are on the waiting list for sliced bread
    tomorrow. Gas is still at a premium, though if you are in the right place
    at the right time, some people are able to buy it. I’ve said before, and
    I’ll say again, that we are lucky to live in an area where many things are
    within walking, or at least bicycle, distance. But things are looking up.

    Bill Lewis

    • Thanks again for the update. Reading this reminds me to be appreciative of what I have and not to take things for granted.

  11. Suzy-Q – I’m glad things are looking up – I can’t imagine how long the days and nights must feel. Our prayers are with you.

  12. Suzy – Q,

    Thanks for the updates. I have been watching video of how dire the situation is in Japan. It’s so sad seeing how many people have been affected by this tragedy. I’m happy to read from these updates that help, hope & faith are very much alive over in Japan.

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