Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Earthquake, tsunami hit home

When an earthquake is strong enough to be read on a seismometer half way across the world, it’s obvious millions of people will be affected.

A snapshot of the campus seismometer that picked up the 8.9 magnitude quake.


Whether it was the 8.9 magnitude earthquake centered just off the east coast of Honshu, Japan, or the tsunami that followed killing tens of thousands of people, parts of northeastern Japan were devastated by the natural disaster which occurred last Friday.


Three UW-Whitewater students currently studying abroad in Japan contacted the Center for Global Education on Friday and said they are fine.

Junior Alex Misialek, who is studying in Hirakata, said the area he’s located in is undamaged.



“I was in my dorm room when it happened,”Misialek said. “I felt the room shake but I had no idea what was going on.”

Junior Andrew Miller, currently studying near Osaka, also said the earthquake in his area wasn’t very strong, but other areas, such as Miyagi-ken, were hit much harder.

“I was just sitting in my dorm and thought to myself, ‘this is bad,’” Miller said. “Everyone is down in the dumps. It’s a huge problem.”

Sophomore Tomera Sheets, who is also in Hirakata currently, said another 6.0 earthquake occurred as she was responding Tuesday.

“Here I am sitting in my room, typing to friends and family that I am OK and not to worry and to calm down,” Sheets said. “And the room starts shaking … I have never been through anything like this before.”

All three students knew that Japan had a history of earthquakes, but none expected something to happen while they were visiting.

“I certainly didn’t expect it to happen,” Miller said. “Even living in the U.S., there’s always a chance … a tornado could come rolling through town and wipe out everything.”



Misialek admitted the disaster makes him a little nervous about the rest of his time in Japan but hopes his remaining time will be good.

Miller said he was unsure about his remaining time overseas.

“I don’t know about my future time in Japan,”Miller said. “It’s too soon to say. I think anyone would be nervous, native or not.”

Yet, the recent events have not deterred Miller from his future plans.

“This still hasn’t affected my decision to move to Asia once I’m graduated from Whitewater,”Miller said. “It’s horrible, but it could happen anywhere.”

Neither Misialek nor Miller knew exactly how their daily lives would be affected yet.

Juniors Kristin Foreyt and Matthew Tufte have yet to leave this semester to study in Japan.

Tufte said he is concerned about the nuclear difficulties Japan is currently having, among other things.



“If I do end up going, there may be some aftershocks still happening,” Tufte said. “That is a little bit concerning.”

Tufte plans to leave for Japan March 30. He will be staying in the Tokyo area.

“If things stay as they are right now, I should be pretty safe because Tokyo, compared to the northeast coast, wasn’t as damaged,” Tufte said.

Misialek and Miller thanked and encouraged everyone to send their thoughts and prayers.

“Everyone is suffering,”Miller said. “If you can donate to the relief fund, it would be greatly appreciated.”

To donate $10 to the American Red Cross, text “REDCROSS” to 90999.


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Founded 1901
Earthquake, tsunami hit home