I sat there completely bewildered. The images on the television screen reminded me of something from a disaster movie, like 'The Day After Tomorrow'. I just could not believe what was unfolding before my eyes was reality.

On the 11th March 2011, one of the biggest earthquakes recorded in history hit Japan. Measuring a massive 9.0 on the Richter scale, it shook the whole of the country. The media has highlighted that the Japanese are one of the best organised and prepared countries for earthquakes in the world, meaning a large part of the country had dealt with it very well. However, no country, whatever it's experience with natural disasters, could have foreseen the sheer power and devastation of the tsunami which followed.

Washing away anything in it's path, the tsunami tore through the Northeast coast. It is plain to see the awful effect it had on these areas, and beyond, by looking at the images seen on the news, like the picture and video link below.

I admit, before this tragedy I never fully understood what it would be like to be in such horrendous circumstances. I feel we are all, to some extent, desensitised to these kinds of stories having been exposed to them everyday and will never be able to comprehend just how awful they are unless we are personally involved. This time, it was my turn. I immediately feared for my elderly parents in Tokyo, my brother and my relatives living in Sendai. I found myself glued to 3 screens at a time - BBC News on the TV, NHK online and CNN also, frantically trying to piece together the unbelievable events and find any information about my loved ones.
I pray for the survivors of the earthquake, tsunami and for those working on or living near the failing nuclear reactors.

Please donate to the Red Cross