Reaction of Foreigners Staying in Japan to the Quake

Japanese were not the only ones who experienced the disaster. There are more than 2 million foreigners live in Japan, and many of them experienced the tremor when it hit Japan on March 11.

Interviewed by ANSA (a major Italian wire service), Japan national football team coach Alberto Zaccheroni who is Italian has described his experience during the quake “I heard some creaking sound, then everything started to move. My house seemed to be made out of rubber. I didn’t know what an earthquake was but I unfortunately do know it now. Furniture in my house started to fall, so we went outside and the streets were moving.”

A photojournalist Andrew Pateras who was in Shinjuku Station, the world busiest train station, during the quake described his experience on The Daily “…this earthquake will be forever burned in my memory as the most harrowing experience of all. I saw hundred-story buildings sway like palm trees in the wind as the earth revolted beneath my feet.”

The video below shows skyscrapers in Tokyo swaying during the quake.



How Japanese people reacted to the historical quake? Andrew Pateras described their reactions. “Some people were visibly shaken. There were a few women crying, people pointing up at the buildings as they shook, but many others appeared calm and relaxed.” He also said that when the shake got violent, “[An elderly man] smiled back at me and said one word: “Earthquake.”

It seems many people in other countries find Japanese looked really calm even during and after the major earthquake. On Twitter, people who saw the news and the videos tweet “Japanese are amazing. They don’t get into panic or go crazy to plunder.” “They stuck in traffic but still behave well.”

According to reports, the victims in damaged areas keep having give-and-take spirits; they give way to others on the road, share insufficient things each others.


Citation: Andrew Pateras’ “My Earthquake Experience in Tokyo”