Last week as I was editing the images that I took from the 2006 Yogjakarta earthquake in Indonesia, I heard about the massive 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. Having been to Japan 3 times in the last 3 years and planning for a visit this year, it is really shocking to see the vast devastation of the land as well as the many lives lost and destroyed. The Boston Globe, The Big Picture has been posting daily photo posts on the continuing crisis and is worth visiting:-
Massive earthquake hits Japan
Japan: earthquake aftermath
Japan: Vast devastation
Japan: New fears as the tragedy deepens
Japan: Continuing crisis
My only experience with earthquakes is the trip I made to Yogjakarta 1 month after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck in 2006. I experienced 1 or 2 minor tremors but that was it. I saw the destruction wrought by the earthquake firsthand as I moved to areas outside the main city. Initially, it felt quite surreal and I could not really connect with what I was seeing. I was only able to better understand and connect after I started talking to the people with the little smattering of Bahasa that I knew. I have added in and updated a selection of photos from this trip in the NGO work section (see Yogjakarta). The following are some selected images from the gallery.
From my dairy, describing my encounter with the gentleman in the 1st photograph.
“A elderly gentleman stands alone in his courtyard, viewing what remains of his family home. He has a dazed look on his face. He tells me he has 5 children and 10 grandchildren. I do not have the courage to ask him of their wellbeing. He starts pointing out where things used to be. Here is where my bedroom used to be. The kitchen was over there. The toilet was over there. . .” 28 June 2006