Japan: A fragile country at the mercy of nature

Japan: A fragile country at the mercy of nature

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Burning houses have been swept out to sea following the disaster
Burning houses have been swept out to sea following the disaster

The world is reacting with shock at the huge quake and tsunami that has devastated Japan, but people there have learnt to expect natural disasters.

The first indication was a humming and a rattling.

Hundreds of upturned beer glasses on wooden shelves, shook from side to side, then knocked into each other. Conversation dimmed then stopped completely. Faces looked from one to another across the plates of tempura and sushi.

“Quick,” shouted the barman, “turn off the gas.”

It was my first experience of a tremor, just a few days after I had gone to live in Japan. And it was typical – everyone trying to gauge just how serious this quake was going to be.

When should we get up and try to run outdoors? Or would we have to dive under the tables? Or seek safety under a door frame – which we all knew was the strongest part of the room?

By: Teni Sow | Senior Editor at Tambapress.com and Regular Contributor to Presspresser.com

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