Aftershocks rattle Tokyo and surrounding areas
A building attendant came on the intercom system to let people know that there was an aftershock and that the building’s elevator was working.
“This is the worst it’s ever been,” said Igari, “We’ve had aftershocks almost every other day, and it’s been almost a week.”
Japanese public broadcasting, NHK, reported the aftershock epicenter was in a northern prefecture, Ibaraki, where Igari’s sister lives. Igari’s father called her sister and she is unharmed. The aftershock affected the city of Mito, in the Ibaraki prefecture, the most. In that area the aftershock was a magnitude 5.
Planes were temporarily grounded at Narita International Airport, according to NHK.
On Sunday, Igari flew from Los Angeles to visit her parents in Tokyo. She had planned the trip before last Friday’s 9.0 megaquake hit.
In the week that she has been in Tokyo, Igari said she has noticed several retail stores and restaurants have closed voluntarily in order to conserve power for the region affected by the quake and tsunami. She likened the Japanese response to the situation to the response of U.S. citizens to the September 11, 2001 attacks, saying the Japanese are coming together to help relief efforts. Igari said the Japanese people, who are usually reserved in their demeanor, are working together to do whatever they can to help the quake and tsunami victims.
Igari’s sister lives in the city of Mito in the Ikabari prefecture, a region affected by the quake. Igari said more than fifty shingles fell off the roof her sister’s home when the earthquake hit. Her uncle also lives in an area affected by the earthquake. She said a stone wall by his house completely collapsed as a result of the quake.
Igari said her parents told her they felt the shaking in their 18th floor apartment in the Tokyo complex where they live. She said her father told her that he had never experienced an earthquake of this magnitude in his lifetime. Igari’s parents said they went outside after the shaking subsided to find people walking the streets, trying to get home after the subway system shut down.
Igari said she spoke to a taxi driver about his experience last Friday night, after the earthquake hit. He says a drive that normally would only take him about twenty minutes took him more than three hours to complete, according to Igari.
The Igari family had initially planned to leave Tokyo Sunday for a vacation within the country, but they may not go due to the suspension of service of some Japanese train lines.