Sunday, March 13, 2011

A report from Taipei: Watching Japan closely

Just a quick report from Taipei, Taiwan, where I've been researching the migrant worker issue here. Of course, here as elsewhere the topic of concern and conversation is the horrible earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear threat from damaged reactors in Japan.

My good friend, Takehiko Kambayashi, a journalist living north of Tokyo and correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and other publications, sent an e-mail out to me and others that he felt the shock and the aftershocks from Friday's earthquake at his home in Saitama. "Thought the roof would collapse. Many aftershocks while I kept filing stories. I will keep filing."

Thank goodness, Takehiko and his family are safe. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people.

Here in Taipei, a tsunami alert was issued but thus far no problems have been reported. The mountains along the Taiwanese coastline offer some consolation in such situations, but this is a typhoon-and-earthquake-prone land and no one is taking what has happened in Japan for granted. An earthquake in 1999 took over 3,000 lives in Taiwan. The typhoon Gloria flooded the city of Taipei for three days back in 1963, a flood that began on September 11 of that year.

I will be back reporting back with more details later.

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