我が家の阪神・淡路大震災

Wagaya no Hanshin-Awaji Daishinsai;
Our Experience of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

予知能力などほとんどない私ですが、あの朝、何とも言えない不快感でふと目が覚めました。電気をつけて時計を見ると午前5時45分でした。どうしてこんな時間に目が覚めたのだろうと不思議でしたが、もう少し眠らなくてはいけないなと思いながら再び電気を消しました。横になってすぐ、あの大地震が起こりました。まだ揺れが止まらぬうちに当時6歳だった息子のところに行こうとしました。しかし食器棚が倒れていて前に進むことができませんでした。大きな声で息子の名前を呼ぶと、大丈夫だと返事をしてくれてほっとしました。すぐ助けるのでじっとしているように言いました。停電しているので何も見えません。整理箪笥が倒れてしまって中に入れていた懐中電灯が見つかりません。ものすごい音から判断していろいろなものが壊れたのは間違いなさそうでした。ガラスが割れて飛び散っていては危険なので、夫と私はまず靴を履きました。そして夫が真っ暗な中、食器棚を乗り越えて息子を助けに行きました。

Early in the morning on that terrible day, I woke up unexpectedly because of a strange unpleasant feeling, though I didn’t really think I had a precognition. I turned on the light and saw the clock which read 5:45 am. Wondering why I woke up so early, I turned off the light to go back to sleep. Immediately after I lay down, the great earthquake happened. I didn’t wait until the shaking stopped and tried to get to my son, who at that time was 6 years old. But a big cupboard had fallen and prevented me from getting out. I cried out his name and then felt relieved to hear him tell me he was all right. I told him to stay still where he was until I could help him. I couldn’t see anything because of the blackout. The chest of drawers in which I kept a flashlight had fallen down, so I couldn’t find it. Judging from the terrible sound, I was sure many things were broken. At first, my husband and I wore shoes in case broken pieces of glass were on the floor. And then, my husband went over the fallen cupboard in the darkness to help our son.

着の身着のまま避難所になっている近くの小学校へ行きました。夫は小学校の坂を下って行く間、街のあちこちで火の手が上がるのを見て、大変なことになったと思ったそうです。私はそんな余裕すらなく、地震で亀裂の入った道路を歩きました。避難所に着いたら何とかなると思っていましたが、門が開いたのは地震より1時間半以上経ってからでした。避難所には災害対策の準備がなされていなくて、水も食料も毛布もありませんでした。あんなに寒かった朝はありませんでした。その時はまだそんなに大きな地震だとは思わず、線路が寸断されて電車が止まっていることも知らず、夫に「今日、会社休めないの?」などと話していました。

We went nearby to our son’s elementary school, which was designated as a regional evacuation center, with nothing but the clothes on our backs. As we were going down the hill toward the evacuation center, my husband could see fires in many places of the city, and realized we were in a desperate state. However, I couldn’t afford to look around and was just concentrating on walking down the road with many cracks caused by the earthquake. I believed things would be alright at the evacuation center if we could only get there, but the gate didn’t open until 1 and a half hours after the earthquake happened. Nothing was prepared for natural disasters; they didn’t even have water, food or blankets. It was the coldest morning I had ever experienced. At first, I didn’t know the scale of the earthquake. I asked my husband if he could take the day off from work. He agreed of course and needless to say the train services were completely suspended so no one could go anywhere.

明るくなったのでいったんマンションに帰ってみると、あらゆるものが倒れ、壊れていました。地震前日納車された新車が無傷だったのはせめてもの救いでした。ガスと水道は止まっていましたが、電気が復旧していたので、テレビを見ることができました。そこには信じられない光景が映し出されていました。近くの高速道路が崩壊し、多くのビルや家屋が倒壊し、火事が発生していました。しばらくすると電話も通じ、親きょうだいと連絡を取ることができ、皆の無事を確認できました

When it got light, we went back home to see that many articles of furniture had fallen down and many things had been broken. The new car that had just been delivered the previous day was completely undamaged which was at least some comfort. The services of gas and water were suspended but only the electricity was restored. I turned on the television and watched unbelievable sights; the collapse of a highway in the same area, hundreds of buildings and houses were destroyed and there were many fires. A short time later, the phone line was reconnected, so we called our parents and sisters and found out everyone was OK.

電話では無事が確認できていましたが、やはり心配で車で夫の実家へ様子を見に行くことにしました。
いつもなら20分くらいで行ける距離ですが、渋滞、家屋の倒壊、道路の亀裂などで1時間以上かかってしまいました。車の中から見る風景に衝撃を受けました。倒れたり、傾いたりした電信柱や街路樹を見ると平衡感覚が失われ、気分が悪くなりました。多くのおそらく2階建てだった家は無残にぺちゃんこになり瓦礫と化していました。夫の実家はかろうじて立っていましたが、後に全壊の判定が下り建て直しました。私の実家の所有していたビルやマンションも全壊しました。

Though we found my husband’s parents were alright, we were still worried about them and decided to go to their place by car. Usually it was only a 20-minute drive from my place to theirs, but on that day, it took us longer than 1 hour because of traffic congestion, collapsed houses and cracks in the roads. I was awfully shocked to see the street scene out of the car windows. Telephone poles and trees falling or leaning took away my sense of balance and made me sick. Horribly, many houses which might have had two stories were destroyed and reduced to rubble. The house of my husband’s parents barely stood, but later we found out its basic structure was totally damaged through the building damage assessment. My parents’ building and apartment were also damaged beyond repair.

その日のうちにマンションはかろうじて寝られるほど片付きましたが、頻発する大きな余震が怖くて、夜には避難所に戻りました。普段、近所であまり見かけることがない障害のある人や認知症の人が何人もいて、とても不安そうでした。また普段と異なった環境の中で、お世話をするご家族の方々も大変そうでした。赤ちゃんを連れたご家族も多くて、授乳室さえなくて、とても不安な様子でした。

We just managed to clear the space where we could sleep in our apartment, but we were so afraid of frequent aftershocks that we went back to the evacuation center at night. Some disabled people and elderly people suffering from dementia, whom I had hardly seen around the neighborhood, uneasily stayed in the evacuation center, and their families were having difficulty taking care of them in the unusual situation. Many families with babies anxiously took refuge and they did not even have a nursing room to use.

それにもかかわらず、皆さんとても静かで、お互いに協力し合い、驚くほど秩序が守られていました。大昔から度重なる自然災害に耐え抜いてきた我々日本人にとって、このように冷静に行動をすることは全く不思議ではありません。夕食には1人に小さなロールパン1つ、バナナ半本、500mlのペットボトルの水1本が配られました。家から車で運んだ布団を小学校の体育館に敷いて寝ることにしました。セータ、カーディガン、コート、マフラー、ニット帽、手袋などできるだけ多くの衣類を重ね着しましたが、あまりの寒さと余震で、ほとんど眠ることができませんでした。こうして長く、怖い一日が終わりました。

Nevertheless, everyone was very quiet, helped each other and behaved in an amazingly orderly manner. We Japanese have patiently survived frequent natural disasters from ancient times, so it was no wonder that we acted like in this way. We were given 1 small roll, half of a banana and a 500-ml bottle of water for dinner. In the gymnasium of the elementary school, we lay down on the Futon mats and covered ourselves with comforters which we had brought from our home. Though we wore as many clothes as we could such as sweaters, cardigans, coats, knitted caps and gloves, we could hardly sleep because of the severe cold and continual aftershocks. After some time, the long and terrible day was over.

翌日から私達の避難所の支援物資は徐々に増えて、食べ物や飲み物も充実してきました。しかし、後に分ったことですが、他の多くの避難所では何日間も支援物資がほとんど届かず、避難者は充分な食事をすることができなかったそうです。当時は携帯電話を持っている一般の人はほとんどいなくて、小学校の入り口に災害時用公衆電話が設置されました。人々は家族や親戚に連絡するために長い列を作っていました。一番の問題はトイレでした。仮設のトイレも設置されましたが、避難している人が多くて、あっという間に汚物であふれました。

From the next day, relief goods at our evacuation center gradually increased, so we had more food and drink. However, according to later news, many other evacuation centers seriously lacked relief goods for several days and the evacuees could hardly even get food and drink. Several temporary public phones were provided at the entrance hall for the evacuees because in those days, hardly anyone had a personal cellphone. We made a long line to contact our families and relations. The biggest problem was toilets. 4 temporary toilets were provided in the schoolyard, but they were not enough for so many evacuees and soon all of them were full.

断水も大きな問題でしたが、翌日、自衛隊の給水車が校庭に到着しました。彼らの姿を見た時、どれほど心強く、嬉しく思ったか分りません。地震発生以来、常に冷静でいたつもりでしたが、その時初めて涙が出そうになりました。多くの家が壊れ、怪我人が歩いて移動し、迷彩服を着た自衛隊員を乗せた車両が行き交い、その上空を何台もヘリコプターが飛ぶ、まるで戦場にいるような気になりました。

Another serious problem was suspension of the water supply, and a water truck of the Self-Defense Forces arrived at the schoolyard the next day. I was so relieved and reassured by them that I was about to cry for the first time after the earthquake though I had been keeping a cool head until then. Many houses were destroyed. Injured people were walking along the street, vehicles of the Self-Defense Forces were coming and going with their members in camouflaged clothes and several helicopters were flying over them; I felt as if I were in a battlefield.

地震より3日目に夫の会社の寮に入ることができるようになりました。車に布団、着替えなどできるだけ多くのものを詰め込んで出発しました。どうやってあれだけ多くのものが車に乗せられたのか分らないほどです。独身寮なので6畳1間、トイレもお風呂も共用でした。しかし水道、電気、ガスが通り、温かいたっぷりの食事があったので、本当にありがたく思いました。大浴場で、3日ぶりに温かいお湯に入ることもできました。夫の会社にはよくしていただいて本当に感謝しています。ほっとして疲れが出たのか、寮に入って2日目に息子が、その翌日に私が風邪をひき高熱で2、3日寝込みました。

On the third day after the earthquake, the dormitory of my husband’s working place provided us with one of its rooms. We left for the dormitory by car in which we carried as many things as we could such as the Futon mats and clothes. I didn’t know how we crammed so many things into our car. The dormitory was for singles, and the room we settled down in was only a 6-mat Tatami room (about 10㎡) for 3 family members without a private bathroom, but we could get supplies of water, electricity and gas, and be served enough warm food. We could take a bath in a nice warm communal bath for the first time after the earthquake. We greatly appreciated the kindness of my husband’s company. It was not until we felt relieved and relaxed in the dormitory that we realized how fatigued we were. On the second day after we arrived at the dormitory, my son got a cold and had a very high fever, and on the third day, the same thing happened to me.

その後、1月末まで夫の寮からマンションに通いながら、部屋の掃除や片付けを行いました。食器棚が倒れたので、多くの食器やビンテージもののブランデーやウィスキーの瓶が壊れました。ほとんどの本棚も倒れ、床一面が本やファイルで覆われました。幸いマンション自体は一部損壊ですみ、偶然にも地震の数ヶ月前に加入した地震保険でその修理費をまかなうことができました。当時、地震保険に加入している人はあまりいませんでした。2月1日に息子の小学校の授業が再開することを契機に、自宅に帰りました。

After that, we went back and forth between the dormitory and our apartment to clean the rooms and tidy things up. A cupboard and cabinet had fallen down, so a lot of tableware and bottles of vintage brandy and whisky were broken. Most of the bookshelves had also fallen down and the floor was covered with books and files. Fortunately, our apartment itself was only slightly damaged and I covered its repair cost with the earthquake insurance which I had coincidently taken out several months before. Not so many people bought the earthquake insurance in those days. We moved back to our apartment before my son’s elementary school, whose classes had been stopped since the earthquake, restarted its classes on February 2nd.

日本に住んでいる以上、どこにいても地震を避けることはできません。私自身も何度も地震を体験しました。最初の大きな地震は1974年5月9日、中学校の修学旅行で熱海に行った時に発生した伊豆半島沖地震(マグニチュード6.9)です。旅館で朝食後、出発前のひとときを友人とくつろいでいた時に、ドンという衝撃を受けました。阪神大震災は震度7を記録した芦屋市の山手町で体験しました。2007年3月25日の能登半島地震(マグニチュード6.9)は夫の転勤で石川県金沢市へ引っ越す日に発生しました。金沢市内は震度4で被害は少なかったのですが、引っ越し先のエレベーターが止まってしまい、引っ越し業者の方は家具や電化製品を3階まで階段で運ばなければ行けなくなり大変でした。東日本大震災の時は東京都の文京区に住んでいて、震度5弱の揺れでした。

Wherever we live in Japan, earthquakes are unavoidable. I myself have experienced many earthquakes. The first big earthquake I endured was the Izu Peninsula Earthquake (Magnitude 6.9) on May 9th, 1974, when I was in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture for my school trip. While I was having a relaxing time with my friends between breakfast and our departure, we were shocked by a sudden big banging sound. When the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake occurred, I was in Yamate-cho, Ashiya City where the seismic intensity registered 7 (the largest on the Japanese scale). The Noto Peninsula Earthquake was on March 25th, the very day when my husband and I moved to Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture because he was transferred by his company. In the city, the earthquake registered a seismic intensity of 4 on the Japanese scale, so the damage was not serious.
However, the elevator of our new apartment was out of order because of the earthquake, so members of a moving company had trouble carrying furniture and electrical appliances up to the third floor by the steps. I experienced the East-Japan Great Earthquake in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo where the seismic intensity measured a lower 5.

それらの経験から、現代の科学技術では地震の発生を予知することも、被害を避けることもできないと身に浸みて感じました。しかし、努力次第で被害を減らすことは可能だと思います。地震や津波は同じ地域で繰り返し起き、甚大な被害を引き起こしています。過去の教訓を忘れず、代々語り継いでいき、被害想定を見直した上で、充分な対策をとることにより、大幅な減災が実現するでしょう。

Through those experiences, I realized that an earthquake cannot be predicted with the present science technology nor avoid damage. However, it is possible to reduce damage by means of hard work. Earthquakes and tsunami have repeatedly occurred in the same area and have caused serious damage. We should always keep the lessons learned from the past disasters in mind and hand them down from generation to generation. Adequate preventive measures against disasters with a new estimation of damage is the only key to a great reduction of the effects of natural disasters.

(「阪神・淡路大震災の日、防災とボランティアの日」へ戻ります。)
(Back to “The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake  Day & Disaster Prevention and Volunteer Day”.)

 

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