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Mar
15

2011 Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami

I think this was an event that will change Japan for ever. I on 7th or 11th floor of computer department in Hokkaido University presenting a conference paper that I plan to present at an upcoming conference. Suddenly the building started to shake really violently. I stopped the presentation and was about to rush out of the building when I realized that the audience including my professor as sitting calmly on their seats. In Pakistan it is common to rush outside during an earthquake. However, due to well observed building codes most of the construction in Japan can handle earthquakes of scale 9.

We were waiting for the shaking to stop so that I can continue with my presentation but I remember it took around 1.5 or 2 minutes to subside. We kept discussing the earthquake in a lighter mood but deep inside my heart I knew that this was not a normal everyday earthquake. I finished my presentation and rushed home. First time in my 6 years stay in Japan, I turned on the Japanese TV in afternoon. After that both me and my wife were stuck to the screen watching the events unfold.

Looking at how people in Japan handled the crisis is a lesson for rest of the world. Despite such a calamity there were no reports of looting, robbing etc.

I wish Japan all the best. I am sure that Japan will rise above this test of time.

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