Mar 30

Minamisanriku JET Kathryn Oi shares her experience of the earthquake and tsunami

Kathryn Oi (Miyagi-ken, Minamisanriku-shi) has shared a deeply personal description of her experience in the midst of one of the hardest hit towns by the earthquake and tsunami–Minamisanriku, which has lost approximately half of its 18,000 residents.  The link below to the written piece which appears on the Claremon-McKenna College website where Kathryn went to college also includes a slideshow of before-and-after photos taken by Kathryn.

Katie Oi ’10 was teaching at a junior high school in Japan when the earthquake and tsunami hit the island. She offers the following firsthand account of the week following the disaster and her journey to safety. Katie is now back at home in Seattle, WA.

After a two hour nap or even a night’s long rest, I wake up suddenly feeling uneasy with a feeling like I had a bad dream somewhere deep within my slumber. It takes me even a few seconds to process where I am—back home in the comfort of my own bed—when it was just two weeks ago I was pinned in the heart of Mother Nature’s deadliest attack on Japan. I have to keep telling myself that the past two weeks were not a dream. What I witnessed was real: the devastation from a M9.0 earthquake and 30-meter tsunami, but also the perseverance to rise up as a people and continue to live in spite of all that.

CLICK HERE to read the full piece on the Claremont-McKenna College website.

Correction 3/31/11: Katie e-mailed to point out that she incorrectly mentioned the tsunami as 30 meters a couple times in her piece.  The actual reported height, she says, was 16 meters.

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