Japan: Late this afternoon Tokyo started beeping on the Emergency.Life social media radar.
In breaking news, hundreds of thousands of people had no power and thick black smoke was being literally pumped into the skyline. Things didn’t look good, the subway was down and the video above looked very grim.
And a second video has been released by @jubiloaddicts showing initial police and firefighters at the scene. Press image to watch video:
It appeared that Tokyo, the world’s largest city – with over 400,000 customers (probably millions of people) without power, thick black smoke visible for miles – was in for a major Emergency Management incident.
Then, almost as soon as it began, it was nearly over. The smoke disapated, people were tweeting the power was back on, in 30 minutes, some said in 10 minutes. The hashtag #OnlyinJapan seemed to be ringing true.
And so it was, the breaking news was no longer breaking. Despite the local government or power company not tweeting about the incident (at least not in English), it all seemed to pass very quickly: fire appears under control, electricity largely restored.
Perhaps not a surprise to some, where the trains run on time and there’s virtually no crime. Preparation for catastrophic earthquakes can be an advantage in many different scenarios.
But it is not just that. It’s the preparedness that is embedded in every Tokyo resident from the day they were born. It’s part of the culture, part of the fabric of society. It’s a calm response in face of uncertainty and training that is enacted as a normal response to immenent disaster.
Impressed we are. In the world’s largest city, it seems a major emergency incident gets handled quickly, efficiently and in a timely manner… Just like the trains.
We can learn a lot from the Japanese, and not just about manufacturing cars.