Veronan In Japan Quake

By on March 13, 2011

Thanks to technology, we learned quickly about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We also learned that someone from Verona was experiencing some of the events first-hand.

Tom Hayes, a 1998 graduate of Verona High School, had gone to Tokyo with his classmates from an MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University, and they were at the Tokyo Stock Exchange when the quake hit–the first quake Hayes had ever been in. “Quite a scary experience,” Hayes wrote us, “even our Japanese classmates, who have dealt with a few quakes in their lifetimes, were clearly worried and told us right away that this was the worst they had ever experienced. A few strong aftershocks as we walked down the street, but minimal damage to buildings from what we could see.”

Hayes and his friends had been relying on the Tokyo subway system to get back to the Shinagawa district where they were saying. But many trains went out of service when the quake hit, making the normally 35-minute trip much, much longer.

“We felt a number of strong aftershocks as we were trying to make our way to the train station,” he wrote on Saturday, “and the aftershocks continued throughout the night. Even this morning, around 9 a.m., we heard the walls creaking in our hotel room, indicating another aftershock…but we are on the 28th floor, so there’s a little more sensitivity at this height.”

Still, the damage remained light in his area of Japan, a stark contrast to the widespread destruction in northeastern Japan. As of yesterday, the official death toll from the quake stood at 800, but news agencies are reporting that in one town alone, Minamisanriku, 10,000 people are missing.

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