I wanted to Thank You for your messages and concern for our safety in Japan. I can't tell you hor forunate I feel to have so much support during such a devastating time in a country we have made our home for the past 3 years. Here is how the events unfolded for us on Friday..
Justin and I live on the 7th floor of a 9 floor apartment building. I was working on the computer when I felt the apartment start to shake. It was about a minute in when I started to realize that it was getting worse and that I needed to move to a safer area. I had no time to access the stairs so I crouched down in an interior door way and waited it out. I sat there for close to 40 minutes feeling several large aftershocks. Justin however was on duty in the hangar and evacuated the building. About an hour and half went by before Justin got home. That is when we learned the devastating tsunami that hit in the NE Coast of Japan.
Once the nerves settled down I started the process of contacting everyone at home to let them know of the disaster and contacting my Japanese friends, students, and mothers to make sure they were safe. This is when I realized that many of them had family members in critically affected areas. There are still some issues with contacting people in the area and tens of thousand of people are still unaccounted for due to power outages, cell phone network traffic, limited internet connectivity, and those that are stranded in cities around the country.
Almost immediately Narita International Airport was closed indefinitely (which is now reopen) and many airlines were rerouted to Yokota. Over 2000 passengers were awaiting departure from the base. Over the weekend, the Air Force and Red Cross provided beds, warmth, food, and phones for many of the passengers.
Throughout the past few days we have experienced many aftershocks and Justin said I was having some night terrors. But the damage done to us and our home is nothing compared to the devastation Japan is experiencing. Many of our own men and women in the Military and civilian rescue teams are supporting humanitarian efforts in Japan. Many of you may be wondering what you can do to help. Please donate money. Money given to the Red Cross will do more for the people of Japan than any donated goods. They will reach more people and provide more resources with cash than they ever could if they had to transport, store, and distribute donated necessities. So please consider donating. You can do so at American.RedCross.Org.
Each day I feel very blessed to have so many people in our lives safe and accounted for. But I cannot say the same for so many people here. Japan is home and this is very difficult to make sense of.
Please pray for the rescue efforts, the clean-up process, and the large scale recovery that Japan will need to undertake.
Thank you for your support during this scary time, but we are safe and requesting that all the concern, prayers, and support be given to the citizens of Japan and specifically the areas that have been severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami.