Just a quick note to update.
Despite the horror images that seem to be gratifying foreign media, things in Tokyo are calm. There are major disruptions to transport, many shops are closed, there are few people out and about, there is no bread in the supermarkets, but all minor inconveniences compared with the situation on the Sanriku coast.
The situation on the Sanriku Coast is horrific. Although places like Hachinohe had an hour between the quake and the tsunami there were many places that had only ten minutes - not nearly enough time to get to get inland. There are no estimates of a final death toll as yet but it will surely be in excess of 10,000. The weather is not helping. Snow is still falling in Tohoku. Most supplies to Tohoku go through Sendai. Medical supplies, petrol and food are in short supply. The lack of petrol makes it hard for people to evacuate to friends or family in other parts of the country.
Information here suggests that the situation at the Fukushima plant is comparable with Three Mile Island (Level 4 disaster) rather than Chernobyl (level 5 disaster). Although the nuclear industry doesn't have the best reputation for honesty, it seems like the situation is not likely to deteriorate greatly. The Japanese media is being very calm and responsible it seems (I am limiting the TV being on as it isn:t necessary to have my nieces and nephews who are visiting freaked out by the images on the TV and the grave tones.)
Aftershocks continue - last night there we were woken by a shock, but it was close rather than big.
Today we will go out again - but will endeavour to be home earlier. With reduced services the trains are crowded to the point where Hiro has opted to ride a bicycle 14km to work today.
Things are fine. And keep away from the media ....