For a very personal, very immediate story about what it was like to experience yesterday's giant earthquake in Japan, read potter Euan Craig's current post on his blog. http://euancraig.blogspot.com/2011/03/we-are-safe.html will take you there.
Here's a bit of the top of his story, which is headlined "We are safe": "Yesterday afternoon I was in the studio putting handles on some vessels, when the floor shifted under my feet as if I were riding a train. The house began to rattle and shake, pots began to fall from the shelves and the vibration became a roar. I opened the door and rushed outside, turning back to look at the house as I went. It was swaying, like bamboo in the wind. I turned to see the kiln chimney swing left and right, somehow not collapsing but widening cracks appearing up its length. When the roof tiles came sliding off the roof I began to run; the children were at school."
The story moves from there to making sure his and others' children are safe in their schools, and to the damage to his village, to nearby Mashiko and to his own pottery. It's a dramatic and personal account of what most of us know as a much wider tragedy. Read the blog post.
The photos are taken from earlier posts on his blog.