SUNSTAR Cebu columnist Melanie Lim was preparing to have breakfast at the Swissotel Nankai Osaka when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Osaka at 7:58 a.m. Japan time (6:58 a.m. Philippine time), Monday, June 18.
“Luckily, our hotel was very organized and had announcements,” said Lim, who has been in Osaka on holiday with relatives since Friday.
She estimated that they were about 12 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.
“When the earthquake struck, an announcement was immediately made over the PA (public address) system. Then instructions followed. We were told to stay in the room while they assessed the building’s safety. They soon told us the building was safe but that they were still checking the elevators. Then they said the elevators were okay for use,” she told SunStar Cebu.
“Then I saw a helicopter flying over buildings, possibly checking for damage,” she said.
When she and her travel companions got down to the lobby, they were met by the scene of “people checking out like crazy.”
Most people take trains to the airport. But since the trains were not running in the aftermath of the earthquake, Lim related seeing a long queue for taxis.
In the area near her hotel, Lim said, many stores were still not open as of mid-afternoon.
“It’s probably because people could not go to work because the trains are not running,” she said.
But she said she could not see any ostensible damage in the environs.
Her sister, Rose Marie, said the temblor was particularly scary since they had just visited on Sunday, June 17, the Kobe Earthquake Memorial Museum, which commemorates the very destructive 1995 Kobe earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people.
Lim said they have made preparations in case there should be an order to evacuate. (CTL/SunStar Cebu)