People quick to help

People quick to help

Hongkonger's report

Enoch Wong Chun-nok's first encounter with an earthquake left him terrified but appreciative of how the Japanese reacted to it.

The 23-year-old Hongkonger was working in a shop in Kanagawa, southwest of Tokyo, when the 8.9-magnitude quake hit northeastern Japan.

He realised something strange was going on when he saw the lights and signs that hung from the ceiling starting to shake. As they shook more ferociously, he knew that a quake had struck.

Wong, who was not familiar with what to do when an earthquake hits, went to look for his manager to ask what they should do.

But before Wong managed to find the manager, the quake became stronger, and he ran to the nearest pillar and held on tight.

Other customers held on to the shelves as the ground shook fiercely.

When the first shock was almost over, his manager told the customers to evacuate.

A bigger aftershock hit after the customers had left. Wong and his colleagues ran for their lives out of the mall.

While Wong and other people were standing outside the mall, not knowing what to do, he felt a surge of warmth as some people whom he did not know started distributing pocket hand warmers to those who needed them.

Others were distributing masks because there was dust flying everywhere.

It took Wong hours to get home, as many forms of transport had been suspended. He did not sleep well that night because of frequent aftershocks. "With the threat that the nuclear plant might explode, together with the frequent aftershocks, I felt really hopeless," he said.

He said all he could do was pray there would be no more aftershocks.

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