The damage in the Tohoku region is beyond description. Fortunately we live in Kansai, which is a fair distance away. But the misery plays on tv, which saddens me. When the earthquake occured it was a minor quake in my region but peculiar in its nature. Usually small quakes finish quickly but this one lasted longer than normal prompting an acquaintance to say that he suspected that a major earthquake had occurred far away from us. He was correct. There is the danger of after quakes which will cause further damage or death. People that have lost their homes will need government assistance and may be living in cheaply constructed shelters for some time. It may take years to recover. The tsunami alerts have been lifted for our area.