Friday, March 18, 2011
Japan: One week later

Today marks a week after a massive earthquake struck Japan, triggering tsunamis that caused widepread devastation and crippled a nuclear power plant. As relief efforts, evacuations, and rolling blackouts continue across parts of Japan, iReporters shared what their life in Japan is like one week after the quake.


Ken Tanaka, from Yokohama, Japan, said that like in many areas, supplies there are scarce. “It’s a ripple effect, there’s no food. Toiletries are missing,” he said.


Tanaka said many people across Japan are sending supplies to those in affected areas where food and water are limited. Even in the less affected region of Kyoto, Japan, where Tanaka is currently visiting relatives, he said resources and people are starting to dwindle.


“Now, 500 miles away, my cousin owns a bed and breakfast, and people are canceling their reservations,” he said. “A lot of embassies are telling people not to travel to Japan because of the nuclear situation.”


"Almost a ghost town," is the description Christina Ras, 23,  used to describe Tokyo, Japan, one week later. Although many of her classes have been postponed until April, Ras made her way to school on Friday where she captured photographs of the Tokyo’s empty streets near the Shinjuku train station. Ras said some of her classmates left Japan and are now in countries like Korea and China. But going back to her home in the Philippines does not seem like an option to Ras now that ticket prices have doubled.


“'It's very hard ... you don't do much, and you have to always anticipate the aftershocks, and when the aftershock is happening, you don't know if it's going to get stronger,” she said. “And then, the nuclear power plant, the radiation ... I am frightened, but it's hard to just go home.”


Stay or leave? Derek Kwok and his wife had a baby the day after the earthquake. Originally from Canada, Kwok said his parents are concerned and want him and his family to leave Japan. But now, a week later, Kwok said the thought of leaving Japan is difficult especially since he has a newborn and in-laws.


“I don’t know if it is really that easy to leave,” Kwok said. “If something happened to my in-laws, what then?”


We’ve been amazed at the incredible stories coming out of Japan. If you’re there, send us an iReport on what is happening in your area.

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