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October 25, 2004



今回の地震で、現地発の情報発信におけるネットの役割が注目されている。「新潟中越地震「現地発」情報 地域別整理blog」では、Yahoo!とteacupの地震災害掲示板に寄せられた現地発の情報を地域別に整理しているほか、bloggerからのトラックバックも受け付けている。「新潟県中越地震情報」でも、さまざまなニュースを集めているほか、トラックバックを受け付けている。義捐金・支援物資についての情報は、「くりおね あくえりあむ」に詳しくまとめられているので参照願いたい。義捐金詐欺も出ているようだから、せちがらいが充分ご注意を。

私のところに、南魚沼郡大和町にある国際大学(IUJ: The International University of Japan)からの臨時メールマガジンによる状況報告があった。緊急時につき、とりあえず原文のまま転載する。書いたのは、自身もIUJの卒業生であるIUJ Alumni Relationsのディレクター、Gretchen Shinodaさんだ。著作権云々の問題もあろうが、非常事態だし勘弁してもらいたい(追記:ご本人の了解を取得した)。とりあえずIUJ関連の人的被害はなさそうでひと安心。

At 5:56pm with a group of students playing soccer in the gym, and everyone back from shopping at JUSCO a major earthquake hit our area. The epicenter was in Ojiya, which is about 1 hours drive from campus. The first quake I think was 6.8 on the Japan scale (Kobe was 7.0). Not long after another very strong quake hit and the electricity went out. Traffic lights, telephones and the IUJ website included. That was followed after abaout 45 minutes by yet a 3rd very strong quake and then many many afterquakes through the next days.

Students made their way quickly out of the dorms and gathered in the gymnasium or out at a Bon Fire near the tennis courts. At first, there was a lot of uncertainty of course, but the Energy Center got the emergency lights set up in the gym and things began to settled down. Most spent the night in the gym or outside at the bon fire, though some stayed in their rooms. The after shocks, several of which were very strong, rocked us through the night.

As IUJ is one of the disaster relief centers for our area, the town volunteers brought in supplies for meals in the Shokudo, and when I was able to come to campus on Saturday morning, they were serving a hot meal to cheerful, but tired students.

Power was restored in town at about 7am, and on campus around 10am. We had water the entire time. Students were allowed to cook in the dorms from Sunday afternoon though with great care.

Luckily the weather is wonderful right now. Students were playing cricket and soccer on the field between the dorms yesterday afternoon. The buildings on campus are all fine, though everyone had toppled books, etc. The library is a disaster so many of the staff are going to help out this afternoon. Spirits are up, though cautious, and a sense of calm camaraderie is about.

The after shocks are continuing, including some very strong ones that woke us throug the night, and they say another BIG quake may come. We are on alert for 3-5 days or something. The local schools are all closed down today. At IUJ, classes are canceled and maybe tomorrow too.

The Shinkansens are down as one derailed - it was right above the emergency sensor near the epicenter when the quake hit. No one was hurt! Another Shinkansen is stopped, but safe, just outside of Urasa Station heading for Tokyo. They say it may take 2 weeks to get the trains running again. Though trains to Urasa may start running before then. The highway too is undrivable in a few spots north of Campus. But looking around us no structural damage is evident. 634 homecenter near the station has some damage to its ceilings and shutters, and of course lots of glass bottles fell off shelves and shattered in most stores. But some estaurants were open and most grocery stores too yesterday.

The very bad damage is north of us in the Ojiya area. The helicopters are flying overhead to evacuate people and bring in water and supplies to those really hit. Staff from those areas all reported in safe, though with structural damage. We had several students out at a homestay Saturday night, and all are safe and back on campus. Thankfully. It is amazing to me that only 20 or so people died, and none of those in our immediate area. We are fortunate.

So please keep sending your thoughts to campus. We hope the worst is over!!!


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