Thoughts for My People

Please stay safe

We had a couple of very strong earthquakes tonight in the Southwest and are still having aftershocks on and off. I am unaffected and safe, but I am too shaken to be able to organize any thoughts to scribble. Instead, I wish to make full use of this site to tell some basic ways to stay safe. If you know anyone in need of this information, please forward.

 

<First>

Stay calm.

Stay tuned to televisions and radios for the latest information.

Do everything possible to stay safe.

 

<Indoors>

Do not move until the shaking has stopped.

Stay away from windows and other glass materials.

Stay away from large, heavy furniture.

Watch out for objects falling from above and out of furniture.

Protect your head with clothes, cushions or magazines.

Protect your feet by wearing slippers or shoes.

Keep doors open to secure exits.

Do not go out if your safety is secured indoors.

 

<Going outside>

Shut off gas and electricity to avoid fire breakout.

Use stairs, not elevators.

Tell your family and/or friends where you are going.

Check in with your neighbours, and stay together if possible.

Carry flashlights and other forms of lightings with you.

Bring extra clothing and blankets to stay warm.

 

<Outdoors>

Stay away from brick walls and buildings.

Walk in the middle of the road (but be careful of cars).

Watch out for cut power cables.

Watch out for cracks in the pavements and roads.

Watch out for landslides.

 

<Calling for help>

Help may not come soon – do not waste energy shouting.

Make loud noise by hitting on metals or other hard objects to let your whereabouts be known.

 

<Others>

If possible, do not use cars to keep the roads open for ambulances, fire-engines and other rescue-related vehicles.

If possible, keep the phone lines open for people needing to make emergency calls.

(Texting is OK.)

Check in with the people you know, and those you’ve come across (especially with the little ones) – it gives everyone extra comfort.

Please help yourself first.

When helping others, work with as many others as possible.

 

***April 15, 2016 Addendum***

<Weather alert>

Weather forecast says it will rain starting Saturday evening and turn to rainstorm Sunday morning in the affected area. Please stay dry.

It is also hot during the day but much cooler at night – beware of daytime dehydration and nighttime hypothermia.

 

<Finding information>

If you need information on a safe place to stay, try contacting:

the Kumamoto City International Center (tel: +81-(0)96-359-2020)

and/or

JR Kumamoto Station Tourist Information Center (tel: +81-(0)96-352-3743)

 

They may also be able to direct you to where you can get food, water, medical check-ups, mobile phone battery charge and free Wi-Fi, gasoline for car, updates on public transportation availability / road conditions, and many other necessities.

 

Also try the Kumamoto International Facebook page for information provided by foreign nationals living in Kumamoto.

 

<Volunteering>

Your help is very much appreciated, but please do not show up in affected areas without first contacting the Kumamoto Volunteer Center Headquarters (tel: +81-(0)96-288-2748).

*Please note that there may be no one able to speak your language.

 

***April 16, 2016 Addendum***

<Further information>

The aftershocks now seem to be spreading to wider regions – especially Aso and Oita.

 

For Aso-related information, try contacting:

JR Aso Station Tourist Information Center (tel: +81-(0)967-34-0751)

and/or

JR Kumamoto Station Tourist Information Center (tel: +81-(0)96-352-3743)

 

For Oita-related information, try contacting:

International Policy Section of the Oita Prefecture Government (tel: +81-(0)97-506-2046)

and/or

JR Beppu Station Tourist Information Center (tel: +81-(0)977-24-2838)

JR Yufuin Station Tourist Information Center (tel: +81-(0)977-84-2446)

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

 

With all my thoughts and prayers… please, please stay safe.

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