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The Earthquake is coming. The fear of the Big One and the search for salvation


My "baptism of fire" happened on 11 March 2011. I was in Japan, in Sendai, the main city in the Tohoku Region, about 500 km north of Tokyo. I had been living there for more than 6 months and I was caught unawares and ill prepared at the centre of one of the most devastating natural catastrophes to have occurred in recent years.
So every time I hear talk about another possible earthquake, a tremor even more powerful than the quake that shook Japan four years ago, I enter a state of alert.

My “baptism of fire” happened on 11 March 2011. I was in Japan, in Sendai, the main city in the Tohoku Region, about 500 km north of Tokyo. I had been living there for more than 6 months and I was caught unawares and ill prepared at the centre of one of the most devastating natural catastrophes to have occurred in recent years.
So every time I hear talk about another possible earthquake, a tremor even more powerful than the quake that shook Japan four years ago, I enter a state of alert.

Not that there is much need for my vigilance. Often wherever you may find yourself in Japan you receive constant reminders: from informative pamphlets to anti-disaster kits given away free with subscriptions to daily newspapers to special maps on the streets. For every area of the city, or in the case of a metropolis such as Tokyo, for each single district, there is at least one point designated as a shelter in case of an earthquake.

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