Lismore resident Dan Crandon was in Tokyo when the earthquake hit and walked about 27km to reach safety.
Lismore resident Dan Crandon was in Tokyo when the earthquake hit and walked about 27km to reach safety.

Dan's relieved to be back home

LISMORE man Dan Crandon was shopping in Tokyo with his friend, Yuki Koresawa, a chef from the Banzai restaurant in Molesworth St, when last Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan.

“We were coming out of a building and I saw about seven or eight guys in suits standing in the middle of the street looking up,” he said.

“Then I saw the tops of the buildings swaying and I thought this is weird.

“By then there was this low rumbling coming from the ground.

“The next thing I’m looking down the street and I could physically see the road rising and falling like waves and I’m thinking ‘what the hell’?

“Then Yuki said, ‘it’s an earthquake, a big one’, and kept saying, ‘get to the middle of the street and hang on to me’.

“Then it hit, and it hit like ‘bang’. It was this really slow, gentle thing at first and then it just went off.”

Mr Crandon later told his parents it was like standing in a tinnie in the middle of the ocean getting bucketed and trying to hang on to each other.

“The ground was heaving up and down and these 30-storey high-rises were swaying metres each way,” he said.

“I thought there was going to be catastrophic damage afterwards, but there were only a couple of signs that had fallen down,” he said.

“I asked Yuki how the hell these things stay up and he said that’s how they build them – to survive a 9.0-magnitude quake.

“The people were amazing. They came out of the high-rises afterwards in such an orderly fashion, calmly walked out on to the road and stood there waiting for the authorities. They are just so well prepared.”

While Tokyo was spared the worst of the quake, the city still shut down immediately after, with some public transport crippled and sewerage and gas lines ruptured.

The friends spent a harrowing 12 hours getting out of the city, eventually walking most of the 27 kilometres to Mr Koresawa’s parents’ house – though they managed to pick up a taxi for the last kilometre.

Phone communications were cut, but Mr Crandon managed to get a message out to his friends and family via Facebook on Sunday.

His airline, Jetstar, had no flights available, but managed to get him on a Qantas flight on Tuesday.

“They were just great,” he said. “It’s good to be home.”



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