- Posted April 8, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Miramir Valeriano Says Omens Precede Massive 3/11 Japan Quake, Tsunami
But she did not dwell much on her strange feelings.
"After my ofuro I went upstairs to take a nap. My husband also finished his ofuro," she says.
Then the earth started to shake, she said.
"Since earthquake is part of daily life in Japan, we thought it was no big deal. But then, the violent shaking was followed by another more violent, and the shaking continued," she says.
"My husband still was very cool. He said we should stand near a pillar of the house because it is the strongest part. Already there was commotion outside but he was still very cool which made me calm also," the Filipina says.
She said their house was already swaying, appliances and pieces of furniture were rocking. "The sound of the earthquake was scary to death. We have to stand holding hands and our feet apart, or we will stumble," she adds.
"The earthquake did not stop for minutes. It should only be in seconds, but this lasted for minutes. We were already dizzy and just waiting for the house to fall on us," she adds.
At that moment that she said she prepared herself to meet death.
"There was no way we could survive it. I already prayed to God to forgive me. I thank Him for a nice life. But please stop it," she says.
Then the violent shaking stopped. But after a quick few seconds the earthquake came back roaring again. The fearsome sounds can be heard like in the movies, she said.
"The sound was super-scary. I thought it was not really happening. Then it stopped again, so we scampered outside for our lives. Our neighbors were running outside also. Some of them said it was the strongest they felt in many years," she says.
"All of a sudden, the strong shaking returned again. The women were on their knees in the streets, crying and screaming 'we are scared' and pleading for the earthquake to stop," she says.
They gathered in an area with many standing posts, a definite danger, so they went to a vacant lot as the strong tremors went on.
At the same time screams of siren filled the air and tsunami warnings were aired. "We became more scared with the tsunami warning," she says.
Then, she received three calls from her relatives in Manila, but the last one was cut. No more communications, no more water, no more electricity, either, she said.
"My husband managed to get our car and drove it to the vacant lot. I jumped in. But the shaking felt more violent inside the car, it was like six men were shaking it. You feel there was no safe place to go," she says.
The night came and the shaking continued, she said, adding she did not feel hungry, only very dizzy.
Everyone decided to go back inside their houses because of the very cold weather outside.
"But you can't sleep because the shaking came back again and again. Then through battery-operated radio we learned what was happening. That Sendai City was the worst hit. Not our place," she said.
"Shinjerarenai" or "unbelievable" was a term they describe the earthquake, she said. "As if it was not true. The devastation was incredible, heartbreaking. It was very sad," she says.
The earthquake, or its strong after-shakes, continued for days, weeks, and months. It became really part of life of the people in the affected areas, she said.
She realized the day after the super earthquake and tsunami that her husband's "strange" request for ofuro was a blessing, since they were able to use the water in the jacuzzi for three days.
"I found that to be a grace from God," she says, “because water supply had already been cut off and it lasted for over two months.”
Amid the pall and gloom that enveloped their neighborhood, their city, Miramir V. Hiraoka was in front seat of inspiring scenes which the Japanese people showed.
To be continued.