April 5, 2011

Plans for Assembling an Earthquake Prevention Kit have been Delayed

Ever since it was reported that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plants had seeped into the water system, people in the Tokyo and Chiba areas have been making a mad dash for bottled water. (I was at work when the news hit the Internet a couple of weeks ago, and a colleague who had just found out his wife was pregnant immediately left the office and came back with a plastic bag bulging with six two-liter bottles of water. Someone in the office groaned, "It's people like you who fan the paranoia.") For a time, water was completely sold out everywhere, and people were asking friends and relatives from western Japan to send some. Stores have caught up with the demand and it' is mostly back in stores now, but often with a strict "one bottle per person" rule. At this home supply center in Urayasu, a sign near the entrance reads, "We will not be receiving any deliveries of water today."

Other things that are sold out in this store: flashlights, batteries, conpane (sort for "concrete panels", which is misleading because it actually means plywood), bottled gas, gasoline tanks, and DIY tools to earthquake-proof your house. I went into the store to buy a funbarikun that would bolster the bookcase that fell over in the earthquake. They were sold out, as they were at the two other stores I went into.

Parks are always designated as evacuation areas in emergencies, but if you had been there during the earthquake, you still would have had to watch your step. The entrance for this one may still be mangled, but kids were playing in the grass like any other day.

The pile of concrete bricks looks oddly robot-like.

No comments: