The Iwate-Miyagi Earthquake has caused some astonishing damage to the area, although much less loss of life than it would have done had it been in a less sparsely settled area.
Once again, the scenes of devastation disturb me by more than their intrinsic shock value. Many years ago, when I had more vacation time per year, and more free time generally, I spent quite a lot of time driving and camping around Iwate and Miyagi, including the areas where the recent quake struck. I don't remember exactly, but I believe it's very likely that I stayed in the hot spring inn that's been shown on the news, crushed from two floors into one, and half pushed/washed away. Pictures on the news of what it used to look like certainly seemed familiar.
I almost certainly drove on most of the roads that are shown broken into fragments among the crumbled mountains.
It's a very strange feeling, seeing what was once familiar turned nearly instantly into utterly strange, broken present reality.
Home Truths column for August
1 week ago