Just going to copy and paste this from my LJ.
I am alive and well. Thank you so much for your concerned emails and messages! Yesterday was probably the scariest day of my life.
I was at work working on an article for GeekingOutAbout.com when an earthquake hit. Nothing unusual, except instead of the side to side motion we're used to, the earthquake had an up and down motion, as if you were standing right next to a drill. When it kept going, it slowly started to get stronger and stronger, and I turned to my co-workers and said "This is big... what do we do?" Suddenly the windows rattled and drawers flew out of the desks, filing cabinets toppled over, the lights flickered... I went under my desk as my computer fell over and chairs rolled by. I got up once when I thought it was over only to be told to get back down as another one hit.
I thought I was going to die. My office is a pretty old building and I was on the eighth floor, and I thought of Christchurch and thought "Wow, I'm going to be buried alive." It just kept going and going, and the whole building was swaying and objects were falling all around us.
When it stopped, and seemed to stop for good, we all got out of the building before the aftershock hit. Outside we could see smashed windows, cracked buildings, and nobody could use their phones to check on their families. One of my co-workers gave me a helmet to wear, and I stood there shaking-- not from the cold, but from fear. Then the aftershock hit and we gathered to the center of the road away from the glass and as many powerlines as we could avoid and watched as all the buildings wiggled and groaned and objects behind the windows that hadn't fallen before came crashing down. Then it stopped, and for the rest of the day we were left with wave after wave of smaller tremors. Once it even rained for about five minutes and then stopped. It was random, as there hadn't been a cloud in the sky, and it left as quickly as it had come.
I was told I could go home, since Hero and Bus were at home but I couldn't get in contact with them. So I started walking, but about 45 minutes later it got dark. Major businesses like Yodobashi Camera and Tsutaya books were closed. Most restaurants were closed. The only places that were still open were convenience stores and small, locally owned pubs. Trains weren't running, and some train stations even just closed their doors and turned out the lights. "Nobody's home, go away." The sidewalks were filled with people walking in lines, following the people in front of them, like ants trying to find their way home. Taxis weren't taking any passengers, and for once the streets were mostly filled with cars and buses. Traffic was jammed everywhere, and all I could do was walk along the railroad lines to try to find my way home.
I crossed three rivers, which were all overflowing and had impressively sized waves, and just prayed an earthquake wouldn't hit again while I was in such a vulnerable place. I followed the lines until I got to a railroad crossing that said a train was coming and closed its gates. But all the lines were down, and I needed to cross. An officer there kept telling people to step away because it was dangerous. I asked him where the nearest station was, and he looked at me and gave me Gaijin Bullshit, and oh man did it piss me off. He did the thing Japanese people do where they don't know English, so they speak in Japanese but replace what words they do know with English. Like, Instead of "eki" he'd say "station", or "line" instead of "sen". I said "Okay, well, do you know how I can get to the next station on the Keisei Line from here?" Then the man said "Oh, no, you can't go to the stations. The trains aren't running-- we had an earthquake today."
OH My GOD NO KIDDING. CAPTAIN OBVIOUS THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TELLING ME.
So I said "I am aware of that, I really am. That is why I've been walking for almost four hours from fucking Kanda trying to get home." So then he said "I don't know where any other stations are, sorry." Useless. A group of 20-somethings asked him how they could get to the other side of the crossing, and he said if they went back this way and turned right there'd be a tunnel right next to a McDonald`s. So they left and I stuck near them. We went down the road and turned and it was a dead end. I asked the group "Excuse me, but didn't he say there would be a tunnel here?" They said yes, and we all kind of laughed because that guy didn't know shit. I told them what he told me and they laughed. "Wow, that guy..."
One of them had an iPhone, and they asked where I was going. They were following the same train line I was, so they said we could walk together. It was nice to have people to talk to after 4 hours of silent worrying. When we got to their houses, an hour later, the girl, Eri, said "Aoto is still a ways away. Would you like to come to my house for cocoa? I could take you home on my bicycle." Total stranger. I said "No no, I'm sure you're tired, and I'm heavy." She said "You have been walking for five hours, you need to accept my help. I don't think you'd make it home without me." So after some delicious hot cocoa I got on the back of her bike and this little tiny girl pedaled me home while we talked about lame past boyfriends. I gave her my card in case she wanted to stay in touch. Not sure she will, but she was nice and I'd really like to repay the favor some day.
I finally got home, climbed the stairs to the sseventh floor (no elevators still) and finally got home. Bus was petrified. He was a shaking ball of fur and skin and he HAD to be on Hero or my lap at all times. Hero was somewhat drunk, because he could not settle down and had been drinking since six. When I got home it was about 11 pm, and I just sat and shivered as tremors continued to shake our home. He took me to my room and said "Your computer is miraculously fine, but everything else is buried."
I am so unbelievably relieved that my computer is fine. I just quit my job and that was going to be my livelihood from next-next week on, and I couldn't afford another one if it had broken. I don't know how ti managed to stay up when almost everything else fell. My 19-page comic however is AWOL, and I am seriously afraid I'll have to redraw it.
So that's what happened here. I'm lucky my dog and my fiancee are safe, and I'm lucky I met up with some total strangers who were willing to help me. I thought I was going to die yesterday, and it's an experience I don't want to have to re-live ever again. Again, thank you for all your messages. We are still getting small tremors, but nothing big. It is certainly unsettling, though, and I don't think I'm ever going to regard earthquakes in quite the same way that I have up until yesterday.