In the Midst of Chaos

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Disaster, Life in general, Rants and Raves

It”s been crazy, to say the least. It’s amazing how one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, can become a third world nation overnight. No food or water at the stores, long lines to get supplies, power rationing and scheduled outages, no gas, public transportation crippled during peak hours, and bone shaking aftershocks in the middle of the night currently sums up the situation now.

Japan has gotten a lot of praises for being a nation of model citizens in times like these because there has been no violent crimes or looting, which usually takes place after major disasters like this. As a matter fact, there have been reports of vending machine owners opening up machines and handing out free drinks to people to help out. For the most part, I agree that Japan is a very admirable nation in that respect. However, there is one thing that Japan is extremely guilty of which is really starting to affect the many, and that is hoarding.

Within 12 hours of the first M9.0 earthquake, it became absolutely impossible find bottled water ANYWHERE.  It’s wasn’t as if buildings crumbled  and that the water was shut off (at least not in my area), and yet people here felt compelled to run to the super market and hoard.  I agree that in the aftermath of a natural disaster, it is important to reasonably stock “enough” food and water so that you can survive a week or two, but there are bounds of reasons for everything.  Buying out whole shelves of milk for example is completely illogical and irrational.  Milk is a perishable food that cannot be stored for long periods of time, so whoever decided to stock milk is a complete idiot and just made it difficult for everyone else who really needs it.

In addition to food and water, people are also hoarding fuel.  This has caused public transportation to stop or limit their services in may areas.  What really makes me upset about this, is not only the fact that people are taking more than they need, but they needless waste it.  Case in point, on the way to the airport yesterday to pick up family, I was overtaken by so many people needless speeding (going speeds exceeding 130km/hr) when they should be conserving fuel.  Another case in point. one of those cars that overtook me was a Lamborghini Diablo.  REALLY? a Lamborghini during a time when people are lining up 2 to 3 hours to get gas…REALLY??   Some people just don’t get the graveness of this situation.

Transportation has been steadily getting worse, because the company that owns the troubled nuclear power station in Fukushima prefecture, started rationing power to different areas of the country, while other areas are left completely without power for 3 hour blocks.  Being a very power hungry nation, Japan highly depends on electric power to run its vast network of commuter trains.  Without these trains, the nation is pretty much crippled. People are unable to get to work or home, traffic lights cease to function cause mass gridlock on the roads, and homes are without heat and electricity for several hours at a time.

Luckily for me, I live in an area which seems to be exempt for the schedule outages.  I am not sure what the reasoning behind this is, but I am not complaining.  Some have speculated that its because there’s a large community of senior citizens in this area, including senior citizen homes, so a three hour outage may cause too much grief and hard-aches among the elderly.

Unluckily for me, I depend on the bus system to take me to the station every morning, and this morning I found a sign at the bus stop saying that they were limiting service from today.  I had no choice bu to take a taxi to the station everyday last week.  Admittedly, it was pretty nice to be able to take a taxi to the train station and then the bullet to Tokyo where I work, but I would  trade that just to regain a sense of normality.

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