St. Patrick’s Day parade scrapped in scary and subdued Tokyo - Andy
GREYTONES NATIVE Andy O'Do-herty, Chairman of the Irish Network Japan, has confirmed that this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in Tokyo has been cancelled.
The Parade, initially postponed for one week, has now been delayed indefinitely.
The 29-year-old Wicklow man was working on the third floor of his office building, about 20km west of Tokyo, when the earthquake struck last Friday.
‘Computers were falling off from all the top shelves so we had to use our safety packs in work,' explained Andy, adding that all companies in Japan provide such packs, which include helmets. ‘ The place was rattling.'
He described an intense feeling of fear in the room in the aftermath of the quake. Andy said that he was one of five people hiding underneath a table.
‘It lasted for just a few minutes, then everyone left but trains weren't working, nor were traffic lights, so the roads were blocked.'
He faced a five-hour hike home because trains and traffic lights were out of commission.
The atmosphere has been ‘scary, (and) subdued’, since the weekend, said Andy. ‘You just don't know what is going to happen.'
He said that work has been cancelled until further notice. ‘ The Tokyo Power Company has initiated a power off to conserve energy, but we have a back-up generator,' added the IT professional.
It is understood that Tokyo's Irish community has escaped serious harm after the almost 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the city.
The Irish Embassy in Tokyo can be contacted on 0081 332 630695. A special Crisis Centre can be contacted on (01) 4180233.
Andy O’Doherty from Greystones.