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東日本大震災翻訳プロジェクト〔第18話〕

  • English
  • 日本語

The library suffered from the earthquake three times

IDOGAWA Yasuko, 57, Iwaki City Library
Translated by OHSAWA Kasumi

 I heard the warning sound from the chief librarian’s mobile phone. I’ve never heard this sound before. When the shaking started, librarians walked around the reading room. We called to users to get out of bookshelves for their safety.

 As the shaking was getting stronger, I couldn’t walk any further in the center of the-80-meter long reading room. So many books were falling down from the bookshelves, and the 600 hanging fluorescent lamps were swinging simultaneously.

 When the shaking was even getting stronger, the lamps began to fall down with electric sparks here and there. It was just like a spectacle movie. We called out to users, but no one could move. You can watch the situation on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx7_7X-zBiI). Fortunately, no one was injured. In branch libraries in Iwaki city, bookshelves fell down like dominoes, and books were scattered over the bookshelves. It took a lot of time to restore the shelves.

 When we restored the libraries at last, aftershock happened on 11 May. We were back where we started. On 12 May, we had another aftershock. We all stood and gazed at the scene. Our libraries suffered from the earthquake three times. Although it was hard to restart to restore the books, we said to ourselves that we had no choice but to work.

 We had to repair lamps and air-conditioning facility in our library. In branch libraries, we had to renew the bookshelves, and make the bookshelves earthquake-proof. On 23 May, Nakoso Library and Uchigo Library reopened. By 20 June, all the libraries reopened.

 In the morning of 12 May, I asked the safety measures for bookshelf to libraries in Takaoka (Toyama Prefecture) and Kobe. Both of the libraries suffered from the quake in the past. But they informed me that they didn’t suffer so many times. I keenly realized that this disaster was incomparably bigger than the past quakes. To prevent further damages, now we use fall prevention sheets and other devices.

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