2011年7月1日金曜日

thanks for the reassurance

We had the local area PTA meeting tonight. That is different to the class PTA, whole school PTA or kinder PTA meeting of course. This is the one where just the mums in our neighbourhood gather and a teacher is assigned to us and we get to hash it out together.

Tonight's topic of discussion was (rather unsurprisingly) the earthquake and what measures the school is taking to increase the kids safety.

It was all going quite well and reassuringly (the school has many and varied emergency plans for all sorts of eventualities, the school is registered as an evacuation centre etc etc) and we were just sighing with relief when the JHS principal (a blow in- you have to be very very lucky to get the principal as a VIP to your meeting and it was our turn this year) casually mentioned

"Of course, if the dams go there's nothing we can do to help."

Panic passed through the room like a jolt of electricity.

The dams???!!!

Of course we know there are dams up river of us. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a river in Japan without a dam somewhere up river. And we know we have three big dams up river because we can hear the water release sirens every time we get big rains. There is a whole system in place for the safe release of water to stop the dams bursting and overflowing and whatever else rogue dams do.

But I guess none of us had ever thought of an earthquake taking out the dam wall altogether.

In that case predictions are that a wall of water and debris would wash straight down the mountain, through the towns of Azumi, Hata, Azusagawa, on to Matsumoto city, decimate a path through the entire city and finally stop at the foot of Joyama. It is estimated to reach the third floor of the Prefectural government building.

The principal saw our faces and rapidly reassured us that simulations suggest Okubo would be untouched- what with being half way up a mountain and all so we shouldn't worry.

Well except worry about our kids I guess who will be in a two story building on the flat lands as the school won't release them in case of an earthquake.

Seriously, I did not need one more worry to add to my long list of things to panic about in this disaster prone country.

On the upside, I believe Japan is devoid of poisonous spiders. If that's wrong there's no need to tell me otherwise.

Ignorance is bliss.

Really.

4 件のコメント:

Xana さんのコメント...

No rabies either! One less worry when the kids are attacked by wild monkeys, boars and bears (oh my!).

Note to self, don't find out about dams. We live in a completely flat, river strewn area. Here I was feeling good about being landlocked.

Sara さんのコメント...

Nope - no poisonous spiders - you are right there (or at any rate, right as long as you are in Honshu - not so sure about points further south).

I take comfort in the scarcity of wildfires, myself. And the fact that dd's hoikuen is slightly to the left of the large dam up the hill.

illahee さんのコメント...

spiders?? in japan?? no way!


;)

thefukases さんのコメント...

thanks Xana- googled rabies and I may never visit my Canadian rellies again... X(

As for dams I think being completely flat you're fine, yeah? It was the whole burst dam plus gravity down a mountainside thing that was supposed to be a problem.

Sara- enjoying the reassurance- thank you! The lack of wildfires mystifies me actually. Lots of forests, lots of dead undergrowth, dry Autumn with all those dry leaves around, plenty of burning off, discarded cigarette butts etc etc... not that I'm complaining though!

illahee- I know we have spiders- and that Katy definitely has them! but in Oz the poisonous spider range from necrotising flesh wounds to death. So knowing that I don't have that to worry about is great!