When the quake struck, it was afternoon in Japan, a Friday. I was reading on my sofa, with my TV off. And then after the quake, we lost electricity so I didn’t see the first news reports.
I looked on Youtube today and found one of the news reports that happened to be going on in Japan when quake struck:
The station is SoLIVE24, a weather channel. I’m not sure where he is reporting from? Maybe Tokyo? I’m really not sure.
(Some people may find the video distressing. Nothing violent is shown, but the room does shake violently.)
It’s only in Japanese, but I understand it, so I’ll give the gist of it in English.
It starts with the male broadcaster discussing weather conditions in southern Honshu Island. (Humdrum everyday stuff.)
Then an alarm sounds, alerting people in the news room.
He says, “Report of earthquake.”
(In background, man’s voice: “What is that?”)
The map of Japan is shown and the broadcaster reads off the quake info that they currently have.
He says, “There is a possibility of tsunami! Get away from the beach please.”
He repeats twice, “There is a possiblity of a tsunami!”
“Our building is shaking violently.” (Although at this point, I can’t see any visible shaking, but he must be feeling it.
“Don’t run out in a panic!” (He says this because it is usually safer to stay indoors during a quake in Japan.)
At this point, I hear the sounds of things shaking and falling in the news room and he reads the numbers of magnitude for areas. I hear shouting in background. He keeps reading the numbers of areas.
“We think there is a possibility of tsunami, so get away from the coast!” He repeats this several times.
“BIG TSUNAMI WARNING, I REPEAT!” (He repeats, and then goes on to areas in danger.)
“DANGER OF TSUNAMI AREAS:” (He repeats the areas. Areas all along the coast.)
“I REPEAT, BIG TSUNAMI WARNING! GET AWAY!”
The shaking seems to have settled down in the newsroom because I hear voices in background: “Okay?” meaning “Are you okay/Is it okay?”
“BIG TSUNAMI WARNING! EVACUATE! GET AWAY!”
“GET TO THIRD FLOOR OR HIGHER!”
“IT WAS ANNOUNCED BIG TSUNAMI WARNING!” (Reads areas again.)
Then he lists times that tsunami may hit for each area. (Keep in mind that tsunami is approaching at this point. It hasn’t hit yet. Depending where they are on the coast, people have about an hour to evacuate.)
And then he goes on with variations of this same information.
He reads off about the approaching tsunami…Getting in bits of news from the other man about the tsunami height, place, etc.
Then he gives instructions–Get away from the river. Get to a high place. And so on.
Then at the 21:00 mark, it changes to a female broadcaster, repeating about warnings.
At 23:15, it switches to two male broadcasters who discuss the tsunami further.
I’ll stop there, because it goes on with more of the same for a very long time.
When I watch this, I feel that those people in the newsroom are such heroes. And such sadness for the people in danger at THAT VERY MOMENT.
However, much later (like weeks later,) there was complaints that the broadcasters (ALL the broadcasters across Japan, not this station in particular) used words like “Please” as in “Please get away from the coast,” causing some people to not flee as quickly as they should have. So now the broadcasters don’t use the word: “Please.” Now, if there is a possibility of a tsunami, the broadcaster uses more forceful language.
(Personally, I felt the broadcaster did a great job. You could feel his fear, which I think is a great motivator to take it seriously. He did use the word “please” at first, but he dropped it later, at the point of “BIG TSUNAMI WARNING!”)