Dreaming Big in Japan

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Source

Late last week we received word that our water supply might run out. It seemed that the underwater pipeline from Ayukawa on the mainland might give at anytime, and our lifeline was further compromised by a looming hurricane. We stockpiled as much water as we could in the bathtub, thermoses and old fish tanks. 

Almost a week and half ago we were warned that a hurricane was heading our way. Either it was the slowest moving hurricane I have ever seen or the monitoring systems have gotten much better at detecting and projecting their paths much earlier. It ended up sweeping inland south of Tokyo and is currently meandering towards the Sea of Japan, so we were spared the brunt of it. 

We have had much less rain and wind than during previous hurricanes this season, but the sea has been choppy with five to six meter swells I watched from the port down the road. The twice-daily ferry was canceled last Thursday (grocery delivery day!) and has been docked in Ishinomaki since then. We have eaten everything from our grocery delivery two weeks ago, but thankfully we have some dry goods and a few choice veggies from our garden. It won't be gourmet, but we can definitely survive for a while. The best news, however, is that the island's water supply seems to be safe.

Our friends snapped this picture from their side of the island. The grey water pipe that winds out of that concrete service box used to be buried two meters underground. Ayukawa, a small village within Ishinomaki City lies to the north in the background.

The Source of the Source

After March's earthquake and tsunami, Ajishima sunk a full meter into the sea. This brought the water line inland quite a ways in the low lying areas. The past six month's worth of waves lapping at the newly inundated shore have washed away the protective layer of earth over the water line. I imagine they will be able to get it under protective covering before to long.

This will be made much easier given that work crews have recently cobbled together a higher portion of dock on the main wharf.

The new approach atop the old sunken dock (pic: our friends, again!)

From the other side

Basically just a concrete box with rock and sand infill

Yup! The seagulls where here...

Before the hurricane du jour we even had road crews from Ishinomaki surveying the damage to the one road that runs down the center of the island. Things will eventually get back to a comfortable place for everyone here. In the meantime, what an adventure it is getting from here to there!

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