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東日本大震災翻訳プロジェクト〔第15話〕

  • English
  • 日本語

Struck by the quake at the Tokyo metropolitan area

NAGASE Kodai, 45, Public Relations, Spa Resort Hawaiians
Translated by ANDO Keiichi

 The earthquake was getting stronger. I was with my senior colleague, visiting our business partner in Saitama Prefecture. After finishing business meeting, we went to Minami Urawa station. They had already closed the station, and all the trains were cancelled. There was no telling when they restart the operation.

 The radio was the single source of information. It was spreading information of damages around Tokyo. “Is this the predicted epicentral earthquake of the Tokyo metropolitan area? I am unlucky.” I was thinking like that.

 I called my family, brothers, and Spa Resort Hawaiians, but I could not get through none of them. I could not get particular information some time. Finally, I could get e-mails from my wife and younger brother. These e-mails made me relieved. They said “The earthquake also occurred in Iwaki, but we are safe.”

 When I watched the TV news in a mobile phone shop, I was shocked. The TV news was reporting a large-scale damage in Tohoku. We gave up going home and searched for hotel, but there was no vacancy in any hotel. We spent the night at an internet cafe.

 I didn’t sleep at all, and I was net searching the situation in iwaki. Then, I received a call from my wife in the early morning. Her fine voice made me relieved. I cannot forget that sentiment even now.

 We went to Ueno station, but we gave up going home. There were huge crowds in Ueno station. At a hotel in Tokyo, I watched the explosion at the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant on TV. “This is a very serious problem. I have to go home tomorrow.” I thought so, and couldn’t sleep that day, too.

 On the third day morning, we met other colleagues. From Akihabara station we first went to Tsukuba station. Then, we headed for Mito station by bus. As we couldn’t go through high way, it took so much time. I was astonished to see broken houses, closed convenience stores, and long lines at gas stations. It was so different from Tokyo metropolitan area.

 We arrived at Mito station, but there was no bus for further north. All the hotels were closed. We were held up. When I decided to sleep outdoors, a senior colleague found a taxi. We could move to Iwaki.

 We passed many cars with Iwaki number on the road. They had already started evacuation from the nuclear power plant. It took six hours to be back at the house of parents-in-law. Then, we spent storm days. After staying home, we went to Sapporo for  self-evacuation, and so on…

 There were strange things on March 11. I lost my talisman from my wallet. I always had it with me. We had just married on the last October, so that she was not familiar with the neighborhood. On the day, however, my wife was not at our house. She was visiting at her parents’ house, and she could evacuate with her parents rather smoothly. I went to Tokyo metropolitan area with a senior colleague though I usually go there alone. We could help each other at the time of difficulties. I think my talisman helped us from the disaster.

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