Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan Earthquake Information on Facebook

Several people have mentioned “the” earthquake and “the” tsunami.  It needs to be made clear that these are both in the plural.  The aftershocks continue, and an earthquake is never *over* in several senses.  Of course, there are the rescue and clean up operations that many of you have viewed on TV.  Even more, there's the emotional trauma to deal with (see my earlier blog on PTSD).  Most of all, there could easily be another sizable earthquake.  Japan experiences over 1,000 earthquakes a year that can be felt!  Most of them are not large enough to cause serious damage.  However, there is concern about more earthquakes occurring in the near future on top of what people have already experienced on Friday.

I'm particularly grateful for Facebook right now because a large number of friends have been checking my page there.  This has enormously helpful because it's been impossible for me to respond to all the messages and inquiries that I've received.  I apologize for being abrupt with those who have used chat to contact me, but there simply hasn't been much time to talk one-on-one.

I was surprised this morning to find that Facebook is sending out special messages to its members in Japan [see below].  This has been an invaluable service because, now that electricity is being “rationed,” it's essential to get out information about blackouts to those who are not fluent in Japanese.  Of course, the irony is that, if one is in an area where there is a power outage, they won't be able to access Facebook anyway - except possibly through cell phones, iPads, and the like.

In Sapporo, we're fortunate that we have electricity (we'd freeze without it!) as well as enough food and other essentials.  It seems strange to have life going on as normal, knowing what others in the country are experiencing.

Japan Earthquake Information - Updated Mar 14, 8:05AM (Japan time)

Scheduled Blackout
There will be a scheduled blackout (power outage) starting the morning of 3/14 in Tokyo, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka.
Areas will be divided into 5 groups and each group will experience about 3 hours of power outage.

Please refer to the TEPCO Homepage (as of now, the list is only provided in Japanese) to find out which group you are in and what time the power outage will occur in your group.

Train companies have announced that there will be irregular operation, including out of service hours. Summary here.

JR | Tokyo Metro | Toei Subway/Bus | Tokyu | Odakyu | Keio | Tobu | Keikyu |Keisei

Major out of services are: Tokaido Line (all day), Yokosuka Line (all day), Yokohama Line (all day), Odakyu will only operate between Kyodo to Shinjyuku (all day), Keio will only operate between Chofu and Shinjyuku (during morning and evening rush hours).

The Facebook website will not be affected by this blackout.

About this box: Facebook uses this box to provide information to foreigners and visitors in Japan for the duration of the current crisis.

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