Support our mission
 
Police officers at a station in Shibuya, Tokyo, try to answer the many questions being shouted to them from the surrounding crowd. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home.
Police officers at a station in Shibuya, Tokyo, try to answer the many questions being shouted to them from the surrounding crowd. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
Police officers at a station in Shibuya, Tokyo, try to answer the many questions being shouted to them from the surrounding crowd. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home.
Police officers at a station in Shibuya, Tokyo, try to answer the many questions being shouted to them from the surrounding crowd. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home.
The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
More than a hundred people were waiting in line to use the pay phones near Shibuya Station in Tokyo. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home.
More than a hundred people were waiting in line to use the pay phones near Shibuya Station in Tokyo. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
People stop to watch the latest earthquake news at Shibuya Station in Tokyo. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home.
People stop to watch the latest earthquake news at Shibuya Station in Tokyo. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
Hundreds of people stand in the cold waiting to catch a bus ride home Shibuya, Tokyo. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home.
Hundreds of people stand in the cold waiting to catch a bus ride home Shibuya, Tokyo. The city's trains and some expressways were shut down after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the country earlier in the day leaving some people stranded in the city with no way to get home. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
People stop to watch the latest news in Shibuya Station in Tokyo. After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck the country the trains were closed as well as some expressways leaving roads gridlocked with traffic and people stranded in the city.
People stop to watch the latest news in Shibuya Station in Tokyo. After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck the country the trains were closed as well as some expressways leaving roads gridlocked with traffic and people stranded in the city. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)
The earthquake early warning system messages were sent to cell phones alerting people of aftershocks of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the North East shore of Japan March 11, 2011.
The earthquake early warning system messages were sent to cell phones alerting people of aftershocks of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the North East shore of Japan March 11, 2011. (Nathan A. Bailey/Stars and Stripes)

TOKYO — One of the largest earthquakes to hit Japan shook the island at 2:46 p.m.

First it was slow. It seemed like any other earthquake that hits Japan from time to time. However, it did not stop. It got stronger and lasted for a few minutes.

The tall buildings in Kasumigaseki, home of government offices in Tokyo, shook like if they are made out of Jell-O. Office workers flooded out of the tall buildings.

Even after the shaking stopped, people could not move. They stood on sidewalks, gazing around. Then they finally took out cell phones and started calling.

About 10 minutes later, some went back into the buildings and went on with their business.

But an aftershock of magnitude 3 hit a few minutes later. People stormed out of the buildings and from subway exits.

Soon the streets were filled with workers in suits. People were dazed; some were wearing helmets.

Some pointed out tall building nearby, shouting, “It’s shaking! It’s shaking!”

The shaking finally stopped again, but this time, people refused to go back into their offices.

On the streets, police were guiding traffic away from old buildings where windows broke and fell onto the streets.

Because the subways were stopped, there were long lines at bus stops and there were no empty taxis.

An hour later, streets were filled with office workers walking home. Streets were filled with cars that could not move.

All public trains and subways were stopped immediately after the earthquake. The stations were shuttered.

Hundreds stood in the streets, trying to figure out how to get home.

kusumotoh@pstripes.osd.mil

Migrated
twitter Email

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up