[My Experience] Great East Japan Earthquake Tsunami and Nuclear Power Plant Accident ~Episode 1_The Beginning of the Disaster~


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・2011.3.11 At the age of 20, I was affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster.

 ⇒Click here for testimonials【私の体験談】東日本大震災と原発事故~第1話_災害の始まり~ – ふくしま復興し隊 (fukushima-fukkoushitarou.com)

・My life’s work is to convey the experiences and lessons learned from the nuclear power plant accident and the current state of decommissioning work.

・We are working to convey the current state and charm of Fukushima to as many people as possible, get them interested, and contribute to its recovery.

Episode 1_The beginning of the disaster

everyday life


At the time, I was working at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant inspecting and repairing equipment.

I had just joined the company and there were so many things I didn’t understand, so I worked hard even though it caused trouble for my seniors.

The power plant equipment is so complicated that at first I couldn’t understand what it was even when I looked at the equipment manual. As I was taught by my seniors, I was able to understand each step one by one, but at the same time, I realized that the power plant was built with great thought.

A power plant has hundreds of pieces of equipment, each with its own purpose. The equipment is connected to each other in various ways, and is designed so that even if one fails, the next one will work.

The duty staff operating the power plant trained every day and knew everything about the site. Not only does it involve difficult operations, but even if it’s a small valve, if you tell me the number, I’ll go to the site without hesitation. There is no doubt that the staff on duty are professionals in power plant operation.

At that time, as I learned more about power plants,


With so many layers of safety devices, it would be impossible for them all to fail at the same time unless a meteorite falls.

That’s what I thought.

⇩Please also take a look at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi/Fukushima Daini commercial from before the earthquake, which will serve as a reference for an overview of the power plant.

Premonition of an earthquake

It was a busy time, and everyone was working overtime every day.

With the end of the fiscal year approaching, field work was reaching its final stage, and there were piles of construction reports all over the office.

Even though I was busy, I remember that there were many earthquakes in January and February 2011.

I live in Japan, a country prone to earthquakes, so I don’t pay much attention to small earthquakes, but there are still magnitude 3 and magnitude 4 earthquakes several times a month.


It seems like there are a lot of earthquakes lately.

I thought so, but I didn’t think about it too deeply.

A seismic intensity of lower 5 occurred off the coast of Sanriku on March 9th and an intensity level 4 on March 10th.

I think everyone felt a little strange because it happened so often.

In a conversation with a colleague at the time


There have been a lot of earthquakes lately. Yesterday, the seismic intensity was lower than 5, and today it was also 4, so it’s strange that it’s all about Fukushima.


It is unusual that earthquakes occur so frequently. There might be a big earthquake soon.

I remember talking about it.

Although I thought it was strange at the time, I did not make any evacuation preparations or check hazard maps. In the first place, I had no idea that such preparation was necessary.

Although I thought that a big earthquake might occur, I didn’t even think about what would happen to the nuclear power plant, and I also thought that if a big earthquake were to occur, the nuclear power plant would be safer than my house because the building is stronger. Ta.

*Now that I think about it, I think my imagination and sense of danger were too low. Even though he had only recently joined the company, he may have already been arrogant and overconfident.

March 11, 2011 14:46

That moment came suddenly.

“Dodon!” “Doga Ga Ga Ga Ga”

I was hit by a violent shaking that seemed to push me up.

At that time I was working in an office.

Earthquakes were occurring frequently at that time, and the moment the shaking started that day,


Another earthquake…

It’s really happening a lot lately…

Please excuse me at this busy time.

That’s what I thought.

However, that day was different.

Earthquakes that normally last only 5 or 10 seconds never end.

As time passes, 10, 20 seconds, it doesn’t subside, but gets stronger and stronger.


The reports piled up on the desk begin to fall apart.

I was working in an office when I noticed a nearby printer shaking and about to fall, so I quickly held it down.

However, the earthquake becomes even stronger.

Computers and monitors on desks begin to fall, and bookshelves begin to fall one after another.


Unpalatable! This might kill me!

I let go of my grip on the printer and hurried to get under the desk.

Screams can be heard from everywhere, mixed with the violent rumbling of the earth and the sound of things collapsing.

Even though the boss is drowning in the noise,


Everyone quickly hide under the desk! ! !

I’m shouting.

I staggered and managed to escape under the desk as the shaking violently scattered things all over the floor.


However, the earthquakes become more intense. I cling to the legs of the desk with all my strength, but the desk and I are being swayed from side to side.


stop! stop! stop! stop! stop! stop! stop! stop!

I desperately scream in my heart, but the earthquake does not subside. ​

Eventually, the ceiling of the office begins to collapse. Broken fluorescent lights and steel frames fall in front of us, raising dust.

I lost visibility and was quickly trapped in the rubble.


The earthquake lasted about 3 minutes.

When the earthquake finally subsides, I move the debris out from under my desk and crawl out.

There was no office in front of me that I had seen until just moments ago.

Most of the windows are broken, the ceiling has collapsed, and bookshelves have fallen.

There is no place to step, and the exposed steel frame is bent and facing us.

My boss


Is everyone okay? Let’s evacuate!

I scream.

As I looked around, I saw people everywhere who were injured and bleeding, people who were crushed by bookshelves and unable to move, and people who were crying in fear and unable to move.

My colleague, who was hiding at the desk next to me, was so frightened that he could not move and cried.



I’ll run away!

I took my colleague’s hand and evacuated the office.

Roll call immediately begins outside the office.

Fortunately, everyone in the group I belonged to was safe and there were no serious injuries.

My relief was short-lived, but another earthquake struck.

It is a weaker earthquake (seismic intensity 5 lower) than the main shock (seismic intensity 7).

Even so, the dilapidated office makes creaking and rattling noises and shakes.

When I looked at the Seismic Isolation Building next door, I found that it was almost intact.

Once the important seismic isolation building has been inspected and safety confirmed, everyone will be allowed inside.

A task force is immediately set up at the round table, and the atmosphere is tense.

At the time, I had just joined the company and had no idea what I was doing, but I clearly remember seeing Director Yoshida loudly giving instructions.

⇩Please take a look at the footage from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Please see ⇩ for the continuation.

Movie “fukushima50”

出典:映画「Fukushima 50」公式サイト(https://www.fukushima50.jp/

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake is faithfully depicted in the movie “fukushima50,” so please take a look.

⇩Please take a look as we introduce it on our blog.

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