On Friday, Japan experienced the strongest earthquake measured so far. The epicenter was off the coast in the North-East (Tohoku) of the country and also triggered a large Tsunami.
Greater Tokyo came away relatively unscathed with mostly logistical problems with electricity and gas supply and a breakdown of the entire train network.
I was actually on the way to IPMU when the earthquake struck. Thanks to the early warning system, the train I was on could execute an emergency halt and came to a full stop just before the shock waves reached us. I was stuck in the train for about 2 1/2 hours. Then, we were evacuated on foot and led to the next station. Train service only started to resume the next day, which meant that everyone on the train had to spend the night at a nearby city hall.
Even though I never made it to IPMU, e-mails inform me that everyone at IPMU is fine.
The loss of cooling capacity and a subsequent explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant 250 km north of Tokyo was a major headache for everyone, especially since media coverage was hyping up the accident. We are reassured by a report of the International Atomic Energy Agency which states that “Containment remains intact at Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2 and 3.”
Aftershocks are continuing at a very short intervals, but we hope no additional damage will happen.