Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life in the Wake of the Great Quake, pt. IV: Ye Olde Academy After the Quake

Here are a few pics I took strolling around the campus the other day:

2011 Great Quake Academy 2
This sinkhole opened in the middle of the baseball field during the quake. It's not very big, but it's quite deep...and would seem to indicate there's a hollow space under the ground. Other parts of the field turned to quicksand because of liquefaction.

2011 Great Quake Academy 5
Inside the auditorium building looking toward the lobby and library. The underside panels of the eaves outside fell off. So did some of the ceiling inside.

2011 Great Quake Academy 7
Cracks around the pillars show how the whole building rocked back and forth during the quake.

2011 Great Quake Academy 8
In the auditorium. The windows on the front of the lighting gallery dropped off along with part of the ceiling.

2011 Great Quake Academy 12
Outside the auditorium building. We had already evacuated after the first, main quake, but most of the damage happened during a huge aftershock that hit us directly twenty minutes later. We were out on the piloti, or assembly ground, near where I took this picture when those panels came crashing down. The students freaked out.

2011 Great Quake Academy 13
Looking toward the piloti, where we were gathered, from under the art building. During that first, big aftershock, the art building was literally swaying back and forth on its legs. The students panicked and crowded back away from it, but it fortunately didn't collapse. You can see how the legs are damaged, though.

2011 Great Quake Academy 15
(Hopefully I won't get in trouble for this pic.) This is a view of the main playing field, where we set up tents and makeshift survival shelters to keep the kids warm while we waited out the disaster. It was hours before any of them were able to go home, and some wound up stranded and having to spend the night (though by then some rooms of the school had been cleared for safety).

2011 Great Quake Academy 17
Irony of ironies: This extra earthquake-proof reinforcement was added in the junior high and senior high buildings in the mid 2000's after a large quake had hit Niigata. At the time, many people called it a waste of money. As it turned out, the buildings (or at least the parts of the buildings) that had the reinforcement suffered no damage. I believe the proper Japanese phrase to use in this case is, "Hora, mirou!" (It's kind of like "I told you so!")

Hopefully I'll have some pics around town to post soon.

3 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 10:29 PM  

  • Kimie's school, bleep bleep bleep, was renovated/reinforced for earthquakes just last year. Good timing, eh? and rode it out well.

    We were leaving the parking lot of Big House grocery store in town when the big one hit and sat in the car while the 3 story building directly across the street from us did the "hula". The windows bulging in and out. I can't blame anyone who freaked out during that quake. It was freaky!

    Glad you and everyone at ye old academy were safe.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 6:25 PM  

  • Yea, glad everyone was safe. Take Care

    By Blogger Robin, at 10:21 AM  

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