I have wanted to write about our earthquake experience, though we were so safe up here in Hokkaido. I will try to write briefly. This is just to record what it was like for us up here in Hokkaido, far from the disaster. I will write in bullet form to try and stay brief!
I was at work, sitting at my desk in the teacher's room of a school in Sapporo. Many kids were in their classrooms getting ready to go, or out in the hallways cleaning. The earthquake started at 2:46 p.m., but for us in Hokkaido it would have been slightly later.
The shaking was very large and side-to-side, clearly a very powerful earthquake, and it went on for approx. 5 minutes. It seemed to just go on and on. I was on the 2nd floor of the 3-story school building. I was not afraid for my health as such, since the shaking was not violent - but it was clearly a "big event" and there was a lot of worry, consternation, shouting, etc.