Monday, March 21, 2005

Hospital Day Five

Today's long dull day in hospital was relieved by two major events - a big earthquake and the removal of Amy's drip.

Just before 11am we were hit by a big earthquake. It was funny because earlier in the morning I thought I felt a sway, but decided it was just me. There was no mistaking the big one! About half way through there was a big lurch and I tucked the kids under the bed table. We are on the 4th floor - I think it's the first time I have been up that high in an earthquake. I was not scared though, more relieved that we were in a nice strong reinforced earthquake-proof public structure. As soon as it was over Amy jumped up and looked toward the coast - saying "The sea will come up!". She was affected by the Indian ocean tsunami and asked a lot of questions at that time, so she knew that a tsunami could follow an earthquake. "It's okay", I said, "we're on the 4th floor, the sea can't get us from here." Again, feeling more relieved than scared that we were up there and not in our sea-level house.

And then of course everyone turned on their t.v.s and within five minutes they were warning where, when and how high the expected tsunami would be. Nowhere near us, and, at 50cm, too low to come anywhere near breaching our coastal walls. The nurse came in soon after to check us, following some prescribed earthquake drill. The doctor who examined Amy took a phone call half way through and got an update. Then came the announcement that we were not to use the elevators (not so happy about being on the 4th floor anymore!) All in all, the officials all seemed very much on top of things.

On the t.v. we watched the reports of damage coming it - the bullet train stopped, highways closed, houses collapsed on an island near Fukuoka, roads cracked, windows and tiles fallen from buildings in the city. The only damage I have seen here though are a few piles of dirt fallen from the earth walls of a nearby temple.

There were two aftershocks, but the kids didn't even notice them. The other big event this morning was the removal of Amy's drip, which signifies to her that we will be going home soon. It started to hurt her hand, and instead of putting a new one in the other hand, they checked her and decided to take it out.

I may stay at the hospital tonight. Kanji's back is killing him and the hard narrow hospital bed doesn't help. I will probably settle Lena at Baachan's first then go back. My turn for a hard sleepless night - but I will be consoling myself that I am not on a plane, which is a heck of a lot worse. At least in half a hospital bed you can stretch out and it's not so cold.

Good luck to Chris and Deb getting some snooze on their long flights!

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