Y’all have probably already heard about the Kumamoto Earthquakes by now. Its been about a year since I have felt my first earthquake . That in no way prepared me for the two that we felt in April when the Kumamoto Earthquakes happened.
The first earthquake happened about 9:30pm on April 14th. Jeremy was taking a bubble bath. Since I hadn’t seen him much that week, I was sitting on the ground beside the tub just talking to him. At some point I go the urge to get up and light the sage smudge stick we have. It was actually still in the bathroom because I felt like taking a bath earlier while it was lit (I do that sometimes when either I feel like there is a lot of negativity in my life or if I feel like things are off but I can’t figure out what it is out of place in my life). After I stood up and went to the sink where the smudge stick was, I felt off. It was like I was dizzy but kind of different because I felt like the room was swaying. I shrugged it off thinking I had stood up too quickly. But then I looked up by the mirror. I noticed a bamboo face scrubby I had hanging by the mirror was swaying. I turned around to Jeremy and said “Are we having an earthquake?”. He didn’t think we were because he couldn’t feel anything. So I lit the smudge stick and sat back down to check out Facebook. The classifieds page on Facebook for this base was blowing up with people asking if anyone else felt the earthquake. I guess I wasn’t dizzy after all.
The next day was busy preparing for our trip the following day to Kyoto with our friends, Stephanie and Anthony. Anywhere I went on base that day, everyone was talking about the small quake. No damage was done in our area but Kumamoto was reporting some damage after the 6.2 quake and that 9 people had died there. Kumamoto is about 127 miles away from here. We weren’t getting too many reports about what happened so, selfishly, a majority of us went our day as normal.
That evening, I went to drop Katniss off at her kitty friend, Mizuki’s house. She was going to stay there that weekend while we were in Kyoto. Mizuki’s parents were gone that evening because they were still in Hawaii. We had been watching Mizuki while they were gone. We had decided to drop of the kittens the night before we left because we would be leaving at 5am. It would be quicker to get out the door if we didn’t have to worry about taking them over in the morning. It was hard to sleep that night due to my excitement about the trip and because I didn’t have Katniss sleeping with us. I had been laying in bed for a few hours trying to sleep but didn’t have much luck with it yet. I figured I would play with my phone for a bit and see if reading the news or something would make me sleepy. Just as I was reaching for my phone on my bedside table, it started screaming an alarm at me! I picked it up thinking I had pressed something or set my alarm clock for the wrong time and was trying to shut it off when I realized that Jeremy’s phone had the same alarm going off. I woke him up because while I didn’t know what was going on, I knew something bad had happened for our phones to be acting like that. As he struggled to wake up I noticed my phone had this message on it.
While I was trying to figure out what was going on, our bed began making a rolling motion. I hopped out of bed not understanding what was happening. It took a second or two to realize that it was an earthquake! And another second or two to realize everything was still rolling! It almost felt like a I was surfing in place. I wasn’t sure what to do so I opened the blinds to see if I could see anything outside moving. I don’t know what I was expecting to see but everything looked normal. By the time I lowered the blinds the earth stopped rolling.
Like the night before, I jumped on the classifieds to see what everyone else was saying. Everyone was freaking out. No one had felt an earthquake that strong here before. It wasn’t long before we were hearing about how Kumamoto was hit by a 7.3 earthquake. I called my mom so that she would know we were alright before she heard about the earthquake on the news. I was worried about Katniss and Mizuki. They were alone when the earthquake happened. I called Charrleen and she drove over to Mizuki’s apartment. We walked in and Mizuki crawled out from under the couch fairly quickly. Charrleen and I looked for Katniss for about ten minutes before she crawled out from inside the couch. Mizuki was perfectly fine but Katniss was really scared. She was still shaking while I held her. Charrleen and I stayed with the kittens for about 30 minutes before we headed back. By the time we arrived at our building it was almost 4am. I was not going to get any sleep.
I know that we were blessed to not receive the same amount of damage or the causalities that Kumamoto did. I am proud of MCAS Iwakuni helping them recovery and with sending donations to those that needed them. Prayers are still needed for Kumamoto. They are still having multiple earthquakes a day. In fact I just received a notification that they just had a magnitude 4.3 earthquake a moment ago. Until the area calms down, we are not allowed to travel to the area. Hopefully things will calm down soon. I can’t imagine how the residents there feel.